Legislative interest in policing and police accountability is currently at an unprecedented high. Deaths and other confrontations involving law enforcement continue to drive national conversations about policy and promote review of current state and local laws. From May 25, 2020 through the end of 2020, 36 states and Washington D.C. introduced more than 700 bills addressing police accountability, nearly 100 of which were enacted.

NCSL, with support from Arnold Ventures, has produced a comprehensive, first-of-its kind database of law enforcement statutes covering topics detailed below.

State Legislatures consider and enact laws that address many aspects of law enforcement policy. State law can set the baseline for the standard of practice in states, creating a foundation for state regulatory agencies and local jurisdictions to expand upon. The database paints a picture of what this baseline looks like in the states, covering a number of policy areas that play a key role in law enforcement effectiveness and accountability.

Additional Resources

This statutory database is part of a suite of resources NCSL has developed for legislatures to use as they make important policy decisions on law enforcement effectiveness and accountability.