HARRISBURG – In response to current national events creating a divide between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) today voted on two comprehensive bills dealing with the vetting and training of police officers.
“We cannot ignore the events taking place across our nation in the aftermath of the horrific death of George Floyd,” said Kauffman. “The bills we voted on today will help ensure Pennsylvania continues to maintain an outstanding network of men and women who protect and serve with skill and integrity.”
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.
“In order to build greater trust, we need to ensure individuals applying to be a police officerundergo rigorous and in-depth background checks,” said Kauffman. “We want to ensure we have the very best individuals among the ranks of officers who have vowed to serve and protect the great people of Pennsylvania, and this legislation will help us accomplish that goal.”
David Kennedy, president of the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, recently wrote,“We have long supported a statewide registry so our department can ensure it only hires people who are worthy of being a state trooper, and look forward to being part of this effort. Our Call of Honor is more than just words. It’s our commitment to our fellow Pennsylvanians.”
House Bill 1910
also passed the committee. It 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.
“We are always looking at ways to better support our men and women in blue and ensure they are equipped to best serve the public at large,” said Kauffman. “We cannot even imagine the situations and scenes police officers deal with on a daily basis, and this legislation will help ensure they have access to the training and mental health assistance they need to help them besthandle thevarious aspects of their job.
“The best way we can improve the level of trust and respect between our law enforcement officers and the public is by ensuring we have measures in place that will only put the very best officers out on the street,” said Kauffman.
Both bills received input from law enforcement officials and wereunanimously passed by the committee. They now go on to the full House for a vote.
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Rep. Rob Kauffman(R-Franklin), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, led a vote on two comprehensive bills dealing with the vetting and training of police officers in Pennsylvania.