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PRINTER'S NO. 1914
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
1271
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY KEARNEY, COLLETT, COSTA, FARNESE, FONTANA, HUGHES,
MUTH, SCHWANK AND A. WILLIAMS, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in commencement of
proceedings, providing for execution of warrants.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 8903. Execution of warrants.
(a) Standards.--The following standards shall apply to each
law enforcement officer and law enforcement agency for the
execution of any warrant issued in this Commonwealth under
Chapters 2 and 5 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal
Procedure:
(1) A law enforcement officer shall physically knock and
announce himself or herself before forcibly entering a home
and shall wait a minimum of 15 seconds to allow the occupants
of the home to respond and open the door.
(2) A law enforcement officer shall wear a body camera,
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keep the law enforcement officer's body camera on and record
video on the law enforcement officer's body camera:
(i) when the law enforcement officer conducts a
search;
(ii) for a minimum of five minutes before and after
the execution of the warrant; and
(iii) during any period that involves a subsequent
arrest or search of a person or property.
(3) A law enforcement officer shall be in uniform or
otherwise be wearing clothing that makes the law enforcement
officer clearly and immediately identifiable as a law
enforcement officer.
(b) Training.--The Attorney General, in collaboration with
the Commissioner of Pennsylvania State Police, shall have the
following duties:
(1) Es tablish a course of training for law enforcement
officers on the constitutional, legal and technical aspects
of executing warrants for the arrest of persons and search of
property.
(2) Promulgate regulations as necessary to implement the
training program under paragraph (1).
(3) Establish minimum standards for the certification
and periodic recertification of law enforcement officers as
eligible to conduct the execution of warrants. The minimum
standards under this paragraph shall be included in the
annual recertification and continuing education of law
enforcement officers in accordance with 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 21
Subch. D (relating to municipal police education and
training).
(c) Sanctions.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
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decision, order, agreement or practice, a law enforcement
officer who fails to comply with the requirements under
subsection (a) shall be suspended from duty and the law
enforcement officer's certification issued under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch.
21 Subch. D shall be suspended or revoked as follows:
(1) For a first violation, the law enforcement officer's
certification shall be suspended for a period of six months.
(2) For a second violation, the law enforcement
officer's certification shall be suspended for a period of
one year.
(3) F or a third or subsequent violation, the law
enforcement officer's certification shall be revoked.
(d) Arbitration.--A suspension or revocation under
subsection (c) shall not be subject to arbitration or
reinstatement under the act of June 24, 1968 (P.L.237, No.111),
referred to as the Policemen and Firemen Collective Bargaining
Act, or any other law of this Commonwealth .
(e) C ause of action.--Any person aggrieved for a violation
of the requirements under subsection (a) may bring an action in
an appropriate court of common pleas against a law enforcement
officer or law enforcement agency on the grounds that the law
enforcement officer or law enforcement agency intentionally
failed to comply with requirements under subsection (a). If the
court concludes that the law enforcement officer or law
enforcement agency intentionally failed to comply with
requirements under subsection (a), the court may order damages
to the person or injunctive relief.
(f) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
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"Body camera." An electronic, mechanical or other device
that has been approved by the Pennsylvania State Police under 18
Pa.C.S. § 5706(b)(4) (relating to exceptions to prohibitions in
possession, sale, distribution, manufacture or advertisement of
electronic, mechanical or other devices) to intercept the
communication in the course of law enforcement duties.
"Law enforcement agency." An agency that employs a law
enforcement officer.
"Law enforcement officer." A member of the Pennsylvania
State Police or an individual employed as a police officer who
holds a current certificate under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 21 Subch. D.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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