New Report Highlights Trends in State Law Enforcement Legislation


NCSL press release

Denver—More than 1,500 bills were introduced in nearly every state in 2017 aimed at improving some aspect of law enforcement.

Of the 1,500 introduced bills, 250 were enacted into law. Those are among the findings of a new report released by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The report, “State Trends in Law Enforcement Legislation: 2014-2017,” explores the key trends and highlights examples of significant state legislation.

This report also outlines legislative action which has focused on regulating the use, and expanding the availability, of two types: training and technology. Twenty seven and the District of Columbia passed laws requiring officers to be trained on how best to respond when situations involve individuals with mental health, substance use or other behavioral health disorders.

This while technology-related legislation has seen an increase since 2015, with 34 states and the District of Columbia creating laws addressing the use of these cameras. Five states require at least some officers to wear and use cameras.

Read a full copy of the report.



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.