Sen. Yaw: Senate Lawmakers to Hold Hearings on Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice Accountability Reforms

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HARRISBURG – Two joint hearings will be held this week in the Senate to examine and develop legislative proposals for addressing law enforcement and criminal justice accountability reforms, said state Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), a member of the Senate Judiciary and Law and Justice Committees.

On Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, June 18, beginning at 10AM, the Committees intend to call a wide variety of witnesses, including Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro; officials from the Pennsylvania State Police; Kenneth Huston, President, Pennsylvania State NAACP; Lisette M. McCormick, Esq., Executive Director, Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness; Erick Coolidge, Tioga County Commissioner and Board Member, Emergency Response Training and Certification Association, and many others.

“The hearings will evaluate where laws need to be strengthened and other reforms are required,’ Sen. Yaw said.

This week, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted on two comprehensive bills dealing with the vetting and training of police officers. 

House Bill 1841 would require a thorough background investigation on an applicant for employment as a law enforcement officer, including a review of the applicant’s employment information and separation records from prior law enforcement employment, before the applicant may be employed. It would also require the establishment and maintenance of an electronic database containing separation records of law enforcement officers for use by other law enforcement agencies when hiring certified law enforcement officers.

House Bill 1910 would require the training of officers on interacting with individuals of diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds; implicit bias training; recognizing and reporting child abuse; and annual training on the use of appropriate force. In addition, the bill would establish better access to mental health evaluations for law enforcement officers.

For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com, or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.

 

CONTACT:    Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff
(717) 787-3280