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Wolf indicates he'll sign two police reform bills

July 1, 2020 News Extra

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A pair of police reform bills approved by the state Senate Tuesday are headed to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk.

Wolf's office said the governor will sign both bills when they reach his desk.

The bills were introduced shortly after widespread protests swept the nation and state over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

House Bill 1841 and House Bill 1910 both passed by the same near-unanimous vote totals. On June 24, both bills passed a state House vote 201-0 with one absence, and then Tuesday state Senators unanimously approved the bills.

House Bill 1841 would require officers applying for a position to release information about their former employment.

The bill also tasks the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission to set up and maintain a database in which law enforcement agencies would be required to record disciplinary actions taken against officers.

The database would not be available to the public, but employers could use the system for more extensive background checks. Agencies would also be required to submit reasoning for hiring an officer with past offenses.

House Bill 1910 would require officers to expand their education through continued education in use of force, community and cultural awareness and implicit bias, among other pertinent subjects.

The bill also would force officers to undergo mental health screenings within 30 days of use-of-force incidents. An officer showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during the evaluation would be delayed from resuming full duties until a licensed physician clears them.

Read the full story in Thursday's Butler Eagle.

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