HARRISBURG – Two comprehensive bills that would improve the vetting and training of police officers unanimously passed the House chamber with the support of Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin).
“Pennsylvania is home to some of the best police officers in the country and these bills, once signed into law, will help us continue to add quality officers to our ranks,” said Kauffman, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which passed the bills unanimously out of committee earlier this month.
To ensure only the finest individuals are hired, 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.
“The public needs to be assured that all law enforcement applicants undergo stringent and in-depth background checks,” said Kauffman. “Law enforcement agencies support this measure, which will help them select only the best individuals to serve and protect the great people of Pennsylvania.”
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.
“This bill is about supporting those who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public,” said Kauffman. “By making sure they have appropriate training and access to needed resources to handle stressors of the job, we can help them carry out their duties to the best of their abilities.
“These measures work in tandem to select, prepare and support our men and women in blue,” said Kauffman. “And the community can be reassured we are taking steps to ensure only top-notch individuals will be placed on the streets of Pennsylvania.”
Both bills now go to the state Senate for consideration.
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman