First-of-Its Kind Law Enforcement Statutory Database Launches


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At least 41 states have statutes relating to law enforcement use of deadly force.

Denver—Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C., introduced more than 700 bills aimed at addressing police accountability in 2020, of which nearly 100 were enacted.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in a partnership with Arnold Ventures, released a new database capturing use-of-force standards, investigations and data; police officer training, certification and decertification; traffic stop data; legal duties and liabilities; and qualified immunity. Laws addressing oversight, executive orders, collective bargaining and officer bill of rights will be added in the coming weeks. This database will serve as a free resource for policymakers and others who want to know more about law enforcement statutes in their own jurisdictions. 

A few key database findings include:

  • At least 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws relating to the investigation or prosecution of use of force by law enforcement.
  • Data collection on some aspect of law enforcement use-of-force incidents is required in at least 21 states with 16 states requiring reports of officer-involved deaths.
  • Training requirements are in place in at least 48 states and the District of Columbia. Some of the most-addressed training topics:
    • At least 42 states require offense-specific training, such as hate crimes and human trafficking.
    • At least 34 states require training or education on physical and mental health conditions.
    • At least 26 states mandate some form of bias reduction training.
    • At least 15 states mandate training on use-of-force and related topics.
  • Certification requirements are in place in 37 states and the District of Columbia and 11 states have laws on decertification.

Access the Law Enforcement Statutory Database.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.