Law Enforcement Overview

7/3/2020

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Deaths and other confrontations involving law enforcement continue to drive national conversations about policy and promote review of current state and local laws. State lawmakers can have a significant impact on law enforcement by promoting transparency; providing a framework for best practices, oversight, training and officer wellness; and encouraging appropriate use of emerging technology.

Community Policing

“Community policing” is an approach to law enforcement that uses community partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address public safety concerns, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Community policing proponents assert that by building strong relationships, communities and police are better able to respond to and communicate during crisis situations.

Rather than a specific set of policies, community policing is a philosophy that may look different in every locality based on the needs of the police and the people in each jurisdiction. Recent evaluations of community policing practices have occurred at both the state and federal levels.

The Task Force on 21st Century Policing was created in 2014 in response to events in Ferguson, Mo., to identify and recommend best practices for “fostering strong, collaborative relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they protect.” The task force released its final report in May 2015.

Following the release of the task force’s final report, a number of states passed legislation related to community policing, including the following.

 

Community Policing Legislation

California AB 93 (2015)

Appropriated $6 million to the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to administer a new grant program called the Strengthening Law Enforcement and Community Relations Grant, which funded 10 grants to law enforcement agencies in partnership with the communities they serve. Grant funds could be used to train officers on implicit bias, examine local policing services, assess law enforcement-community relations, and review problem-oriented policing initiatives and restorative justice programs that address the needs of victims, offenders and the community. Grants could also pay for one-time costs associated with body camera programs.

Information about the individual grants can be found in the January 2019 report from the BSCC.

Maryland HB 771 (2015)

Required the Baltimore police commissioner to submit annual reports detailing the department’s community policing efforts, including programs, participation in town hall meetings and efforts to engage in schools, recreation centers, community centers and senior centers. 

Missouri HB 1355 (2018)

Created the Missouri Law Enforcement Assistance Program to provide state financial and technical assistance to create or improve law enforcement pilot programs that include community policing efforts derived from research-based models, among other things.

Ohio HB 64 (2015)

Appropriated $2 million to the Ohio Task Force on Community Police Relations to implement a database on use of force and officer-involved shootings, a public awareness campaign, and state-provided assistance with policy-making and manuals.

 

The final report of the task force is here. The work of the task force led to the creation of the Ohio Collaborative Community Police Advisory Board via executive order in 2015. The board developed statewide standards and model policies.

Oregon SB 5701 (2016)

Appropriated $959,000 for developing and disseminating research-based community policing skills through the Oregon Center for Policing Excellence.

Virginia HB 1500 (2016)

Required the director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the director of the Board of Criminal Justice Services to review all mandatory training standards for law enforcement officers and update them as needed. Required directors to ensure that training standards appropriately educated officers in the areas of mental health, community policing and serving individuals who are disabled. Requires consideration of the recommendations of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Requires reporting updates to appropriate legislative committees.

Washington HB 2908 (2016)

Created the joint legislative task force on the use of deadly force in community policing. The task force was charged with reviewing laws, practices and training programs regarding deadly force and making recommendations to reduce the number of violent interactions between law enforcement officers and members of the public by December 2016.

The final report of the task force is here.

Behavioral Health and Crisis Response

Police interactions with people suffering from mental illness, substance use or other behavioral health disorders can be dangerous when officers are unaware of how to recognize symptoms and respond appropriately. Two significant efforts by state legislatures to improve law enforcement’s response to these situations have been to 1) require training for police and 2) establish requirements and standards for crisis intervention teams.

At least 27 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring officers to be trained to respond to mental health, substance use and behavioral disorder issues. Laws specify which officers are to be trained, which entity is responsible for conducting the training, whether or not funding is provided, and whether or not the training is mandated.

Delaware, for example, requires its Council on Police Training to train all police officers, while New Mexico charges its Law Enforcement Academy Board with this duty. Some states—California, Illinois and Oklahoma, along with the District of Columbia—require continuing education for police personnel. Others, such as Ohio, require the programs to be part of basic training. Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin specify a funding source for their training programs.

At least 12 states have legislatively created requirements and/or guidelines for establishing crisis intervention teams (CITs). CITs are formal partnerships among police departments and mental health providers that ensure responding personnel are trained to identify, assess and de-escalate crisis situations.

For example, Arkansas required its Law Enforcement Training Committee to establish a CIT among several entities, including the Mental Health Council of Arkansas; the Administrative Office of the Courts; local, state, and county law enforcement officers; and mental health practitioners.

Additional information on police-mental health collaboration models and resources can be found here.

Other Training Requirements

Generally, officers must complete an academy course or training program of some kind in addition to completing a period of field training before becoming fully certified. State Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) boards or equivalent bodies are generally responsible for developing minimum training criteria; however, local departments may also require additional or department-specific training. Required training hours for a basic academy vary across the states, from a low of 404 hours to a high of 1,032 hours.

According to the most recent Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data from 2013, law enforcement academies required on average 168 hours of basic training per recruit on weapons, defensive tactics and the use of force. The majority of those hours was spent on firearms and self-defense with averages of 71 and 60 hours, respectively. According to the data, recruits also spent an average of 21 hours on use of force training, which may include training on agency policies, de-escalation tactics and crisis intervention strategies.

The BJS data also showed that nearly every academy provided training on community policing, averaging more than 40 hours of training on this topic, which includes coverage of cultural diversity/human relations, mediation/conflict management, community partnership building/collaboration and problem solving approaches. More than 90% of academies also included training on domestic violence, mental illness and sexual assault.

Lawmakers can also affect the training required for new officers and continuing education for current officers in their state. In 2013, legislative or regulatory mandates were responsible for at least some curriculum development in nearly 60% of training academies. Other important sources of curriculum development included POST commissions, academy staff, subject matter experts needs analysis, departmental objectives and law enforcement advisory boards.

As mentioned above, at least 27 states and the District of Columbia require officers to receive training on responses to individuals with mental health, substance use and behavioral health disorders. States have also mandated training on use of force. In 2019, both California and Washington required training on alternatives to deadly force, including de-escalation. So far in 2020, both Colorado and Iowa have required training on de-escalation and less lethal or non-lethal force.

Use of Force

Constitutional Guidance

In 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Tennessee statute that allowed police officers to “use all necessary means to effect the arrest” of a person fleeing or forcibly resisting arrest in Tennessee v. Garner. In a 6-3 decision, the court held that deadly force may not be used unless it is “necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

In striking down the Tennessee statute, the court rejected the common-law rule allowing the use of whatever force was necessary to effect the arrest of a fleeing felon. According to the opinion of the court, at the time 19 states had codified the old common-law rule, and an additional four states retained the rule without a relevant statutory provision. The court recognized that the varied rules adopted by thee states indicated a long-term movement away from the common-law rule, with the policies imposed by police departments themselves being even more restrictive that most statutory standards.

The other relevant U.S. Supreme Court case is Graham v. Connor, decided unanimously by the court in 1989 and requiring that use of force cases be evaluated using an objective standard of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment:

“As in other Fourth Amendment contexts, however, the ‘reasonableness’ inquiry in an excessive force case is an objective one: the question is whether the officers' actions are ‘objectively reasonable’ in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation…An officer's evil intentions will not make a Fourth Amendment violation out of an objectively reasonable use of force; nor will an officer's good intentions make an objectively unreasonable use of force constitutional.”

The court also provided that deciding whether an officer used excessive force “requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.”

The court also specified that the “reasonableness of a particular use of force” should be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, recognizing that officers are often required to make split-second decisions.

Statutory Guidance

In addition to the baseline constitutional guidance from the U. S. Supreme Court, the vast majority of states have also codified a standard for the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. Many of these statutory provisions reflect the guidance of the U.S. Supreme Court, but others, particularly those that have been recently amended, set a higher bar for officers

For example, Colorado §18-1-707 requires that officers 1) do not use deadly force to apprehend a person who is suspected of a minor or nonviolent offenses, 2) use only a degree of force consistent with the minimization of injury to others, and 3) ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected persons as soon as practicable.

The law also specifies that officers are justified in using deadly force to make an arrest only when all other means of apprehension are unreasonable given the circumstances and 1) the arrest is for a felony involving conduct including the use or threatened us of deadly force, 2) the suspect poses an immediate threat to the peace officer or another person and 3) the force employed does not create a substantial risk of injury to others.

Officers are also required to identify themselves and give a clear verbal warning of their intent to use firearms or other deadly force with sufficient time for the warning to be observed, unless a warning would place the officer at risk of injury or would create a risk to other persons. Finally, the law specifies that notwithstanding any other provision of the law, peace officers are justified in using deadly force if they have an objectively reasonable belief that a lesser degree of force is inadequate and objectively reasonable grounds to believe, and do believe, that they or another person are in imminent danger of being killed or seriously injured.

In other the states without a statutory standard specific to use of deadly force by law enforcement officers, general use of force provisions can apply. For example, Montana and Michigan have used provisions that apply generally to the entire state and are not drafted to apply specifically to law enforcement encounters. These laws generally address self-defense, defense of others or defense of property. Local departmental policies and constitutional law would also apply to officers in these states.

In other states like Vermont, the general justifiable homicide law is the applicable provision. The Vermont law authorizes lawful use of lethal force for 1) self-defense, 2) defense of others, 3) the suppression of a person attempting to commit murder or other specified offenses. The law also applies to civil or military officers when lethal force is lawfully carried out to suppress riot or rebellion or to prevent or suppress invasion; or assist in serving legal process, or in suppressing opposition against the individual in the just and necessary discharge of their duty. Again, local departmental policies and constitutional law would also apply.

State law can also leave substantial discretion for regulating use of force to local entities. For example, Oklahoma Title 22 §34.1 specifies that officers using excessive force be subject to criminal penalty to the same degree as any other citizen. The law defines excessive force as force that exceeds the degree permitted by law or the policies and guidelines of the law enforcement entity. The law also requires each law enforcement entity to adopt policies or guidelines concerning the use of force by officers.

Use of force by officers as it relates to escape are also generally regulated by separate code sections in states.

Limitations on Specific Kinds of Force

In recent years, states have also started to codify restrictions or guidelines for use of specific kinds of force. At least seven states—Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Utah—and the District of Columbia regulate or prohibit the use of neck restraints.

Other states have regulated the use of electronic control devices or tasers. For example, Vermont required local departments to adopt a policy on the use of electronic control devices that was developed by the state Law Enforcement Advisory Board in 2016. The law requires training and reporting on use of the devices in addition to providing guidance on regulation.

The law requires officers to attempt de-escalation prior to use of the electronic control device and specifies situations in which the devices may be used. The law also restricts the use of the devices in a punitive or coercive manner and requires compliance with all manufacturers’ recommendations for reducing the risk of injury. Finally, the law requires that the devices be used in a manner that acknowledges the potential additional risks related to crisis situations, persons with disabilities and higher risk populations that may be more susceptible to injury as a result of use of an electronic control device.

Investigations of Use of Force

At least 15 states have created procedures to improve transparency and integrity of investigations into officer-involved deaths or allegations of police abuse of force.

Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin each require independent investigation by a state agency or the attorney general, or that the personnel investigating an officer’s use of force not be employed by the same department as the officer under review.

Oregon and Nebraska require that at least some portion of the investigation team is from another agency. Colorado, Illinois and Wisconsin require that if investigators determine there is no probable cause to file charges against an officer, a report detailing their findings will be released to the public. In New York, the report is given to the governor under similar circumstances.

Colorado and Illinois require all police departments to have policies that prescribe internal investigative protocols for incidents when an officer discharges a weapon that causes injury or death (Colorado) or for all officer-involved deaths (Illinois).

Georgia’s law enables a grand jury to use its civil authority to conduct an inquiry into situations where an officer causes serious bodily harm or death. All evidence and legal advice reported to the grand jury is recorded and, if the attorney general is advised not to seek indictment, a report is created and will be made available to the public. The law also provides that if an officer provides testimony to the grand jury, the officer is subject to cross-examination by the prosecutor.

Data on Use of Force

Prior to 2015, at least two states—North Carolina and Oregon—required the collection of data for all cases where deadly force is used by police. North Carolina requires the Department of Public Safety to collect data and publish annual reports on the number of police-involved deaths. Oregon requires law enforcement agencies to collect specific information for each deadly use of force, including the name, gender, race, ethnicity and age of the deceased; the date, time and location of the incident; and a brief description of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Starting in 2015, several more states required the collection of police statistics specific to the use of deadly force or the discharge of a weapon. California now requires every law enforcement agency to report all instances when a peace officer shoots, or is shot by a civilian, or when an officer harms, kills, or is harmed or killed by a civilian to the Department of Justice. Each report must contain the gender, race and age of the person shot, injured or killed; the number of officers and civilians involved in the incident; the date, time and location of the incident; a brief description of the circumstances surrounding the incident; and whether the civilian was armed and the type of force used by all parties involved. Under the law, the Department of Justice must include a summary of these incidents in its annual crime report.

Texas also requires, through its attorney general, statistics to be tracked on each officer-caused and officer-sustained injury and death.

Similarly, Colorado requires every officer-involved shooting to be reported to the state Division of Criminal Justice. Information that must be recorded includes the age, race, gender, sexual orientation, medically documented physical or mental ailment of the suspect; the age, gender, race and ethnicity of the officer; the basis of the stop or contact that led to the shooting; whether the officer responding to the scene issued a verbal warning; any resulting arrests and charges; and the officer’s reason for the shooting. The division must report on this information annually.

Maryland also set reporting requirements for both Baltimore and law enforcement agencies across the state. Connecticut required reporting starting in 2015 and the state expanded that law in 2019 to require additional reporting and public disclosure of investigative reports received by prosecutors. States that subsequently enacted new reporting requirements include Alabama, Illinois, New York, Tennessee and Virginia.

For more recent 2020 enactments see here.

Recent Use of Force Enactments 2014 - April 2020

State

Bill Number & Enactment Date

Topic

Summary

Alabama

AL HB 50 (2017)

Data collection and reporting 

Relates to law enforcement; relates to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information System (ACJIS) to collect data regarding allegations of excessive force by state, county and municipal law enforcement officers; requires the ACJIS to compile certain data related to incidents involving excessive force; and requires the ACJIS to submit an annual report relating to incidents involving excessive force to certain legislative committees.

Arizona

AZ SB 1253 (2017)

Investigation of law enforcement use of force

Provides that in an administrative investigation of a law enforcement officer's use of force incident that resulted in a death or serious physical injury to another person, if the law enforcement officer recorded a video, the investigation is not complete until after the officer has an opportunity to view the video and provide a statement, and the officer must be read a specified notice before giving a statement.

California

CA AB 71 (2015)

Data and reporting

Requires each law enforcement agency to annually furnish the Department of Justice a report of specified incidents when a police officer is involved in the use of force. Requires that for each of these incidents, the report include specified information about that incident. Requires the department to include a summary of the annual reports in its annual crime report.

 

CA S 227 (2015)

Grand jury inquiry into law enforcement use of force

Prohibits a grand jury from inquiring into an offense or misconduct that involves a shooting or use of excessive force by a peace officer that led to the death of a person being detained or arrested by the peace officer, unless the offense was declared to the grand jury by a member thereof.

 

CA AB 1024 (2017)

Grand jury indictment of law enforcement due to use of force

Requires a court to disclose all or a part of a grand jury indictment proceeding transcript, excluding the grand jury's private deliberations and voting, if the grand jury decides not to return an indictment in a grand jury inquiry into an offense that involves a shooting or use of excessive force by a peace officer that led to the death of a person being detained or arrested by the peace officer.

 

CA AB 392 (2019)

Law enforcement use of deadly force

Redefines the circumstances under which a homicide by a peace officer is deemed justifiable to include when the officer reasonably believes, based on the totality of the circumstances, that deadly force is necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to another person, or to apprehend a fleeing person for a felony that threatened or resulted in death or serious bodily injury.

 

CA SB 230 (2019)

Law enforcement use of force policy

Requires each law enforcement agency to maintain a policy that provides guidelines on the use of force and to make their use of force policy accessible to the public by a specified date. Requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to train law enforcement officers in the use of force regularly.

Connecticut

CT HB 5389 (2014)

Law enforcement use of force policy and data and reporting

Requires law enforcement agencies that authorize officers to use an electronic weapon to adopt and maintain a policy regarding the use of such weapon; requires officers to document any such weapon in use-of-force reports; requires such agencies to prepare an annual report using a specified form to report the use of such weapons by officers; requires the submission of a report by any such agency that does not allow the use of such weapons by officers.

 

CT SB 55 (2014)

Policy on reporting law enforcement misconduct

Provides the Police Officer Standards and Training Council shall develop and implement a written policy concerning the acceptance, processing and investigation of a complaint from a member of the public relating to alleged misconduct committed by law enforcement agency personnel; provides that each law enforcement agency shall adopt the policy of the council and make its policy available to the public on its website and make copies available at the town hall or other building located in the municipality.

 

CT HB 7103 (2015)

Excessive use of force training investigation and law enforcement guidelines

Concerns excessive use of force; provides for a review of training; provides for an investigation into use of physical force by law enforcement in which another person dies; requires each law enforcement agency to develop and implement guidelines for the recruitment, retention and promotion of minority police officers.

 

CT HB 5475 (2018)

Body cameras and investigations of use of force incidents

Revises provisions relating to the Body Worn Recording Equipment Task Force; expands the duties of the task force to include an examination of the circumstances under which a police officer should be permitted to review a recording from body-worn recording equipment prior to giving a formal statement about the use of force by that officer or another and whether members of the public or alleged victims should be permitted to review a recording during an investigation of use of force.

 

CT SB 380 (2019)

Law enforcement use of force and reporting

Concerns the use of force and pursuits by police; concerns increasing accountability and transparency; requires each law enforcement unit to prepare and submit a report concerning certain incidents of use of force to the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division.

Colorado

CO SB 217 (2015)

Data and reporting

Concerns data collection related to peace officer-involved shootings of a person; establishes the peace officer's law enforcement agency shall provide the Division of Criminal Justice with demographic information on the officer and individual shot and search, citation and arrest information related to the incident; provides the information for all shootings that occurred between certain dates; requires that the division shall compile and report the data to the legislature.

 

CO HB 1264 (2016)

Bans law enforcement use of chokeholds

Prohibits a peace officer from intentionally using a chokehold against another person; makes a violation a class 1 misdemeanor; makes an exception if the officer believes his or her life is in danger or that he or she or another person is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

 

CO SB 91 (2019)

Law enforcement use of force policies

Requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies to support officers involved in a shooting or fatal use of force; requires the policies to address pre-incident training and preparation, support for the officer at the scene of the incident, post-incident support and services, guidelines for temporary leave or duty reassignment, and guidelines for return to duty.

Delaware

DE SB 96 (2020)

Investigation of law enforcement use of force

Creates the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust by the attorney general to establish a centralized office within the Department of Justice for the investigation of matters concerning civil rights enforcement and the prosecution of matters concerning violations of the public trust; clarifies the current scope of the Department of Justice's ability to investigate and bring civil rights actions to protect the civil rights of all state residents.

Hawaii

HI SB 2591 (2014)

Reporting and data

Requires the chief of each county police department to submit an annual report to the legislature of misconduct incidents that resulted in suspension or discharge of a police officer; requires the county police departments to provide updated information in each successive annual report until the highest non-judicial grievance adjustment procedure has concluded; requires a summary of any basis for not imposing disciplinary action.

 

HI HB 1176 (2019)

Use of electric guns and record retention and reporting by department of transportation

Authorizes law enforcement officers of the Department of Transportation to use electric guns while performing their duties; requires law enforcement officers of Department of Transportation to be accredited by a specified date for the use of electric guns.

Illinois

IL SB 1304 (2015)

 

Law enforcement policy and reporting and data

Requires each law enforcement agency to have a policy regarding the investigation of officer-involved deaths; provides for reports to the state's attorney and the public; a crime statistics repository; information on arrest-related deaths, police discharge of firearms, school offenses and criminal homicide; the use of certain sales tax revenue; a prohibition on chokeholds; the use of body cameras; stops involving a frisk or search; the processing of forensic biology and DNA evidence; and criminal fines.

 

IL SB 2378 (2018)                  

Law enforcement policy, reporting and review of use of force

Amends Police and Community Relations Improvement Act; defines officer-involved shooting; requires law enforcement agencies to adopt a written policy for the internal review of officer-involved shootings; requires law enforcement officers to immediately report any officer-involved shooting; requires law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough review of the circumstances of an officer-involved shooting; requires written policy to be available under the Freedom of Information Act, subject to no exemptions.

Louisiana

LA HB 276 (2017)

Investigations of law enforcement use of force

Provides law enforcement officers involved in an incident to be granted 14 days to secure counsel, during which time all questioning shall be suspended. Injury or illness can extend this time period to 30 days.

Maine

ME HB 879 (2019)

Investigations and review of law enforcement use of force

Establishes the Independent Board to Review Law Enforcement Officer Involved Deaths to review investigations by law enforcement agencies concerning deaths or serious injuries resulting from the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer after the attorney general has completed the investigation of the use of deadly force.

Maryland

MD HB 771 (2015)

Reporting and data

Requires the police commissioner of Baltimore City to report annually specified information concerning the Baltimore Police Department to the mayor and City Council of Baltimore and the members of the Baltimore City delegation to the General Assembly regarding the number of officers and the recorded instances of the use of force that resulted in a civilian sent to a hospital; requires the report to be made available on the department's website.

 

MD HB 954 (2015)                  

Reporting and data

Requires local law enforcement agencies to provide the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention with certain information on officer-involved deaths and deaths in the line of duty; requires the office to report annually certain information on officer-involved deaths and deaths in the line of duty to the General Assembly; requires office to adopt certain procedures for reporting certain deaths.

Missouri

MO HB 2332 (2016)

Appropriate use of physical and deadly force by law enforcement

Relates to felony classifications, elder abuse reporting, felony classifications for offenses outside the code, the offense of conspiracy, use of force by law enforcement, first degree murder, criminal nonsupport, second degree tampering, intoxication-related boating and traffic offenses, the offense of leaving the scene of an accident, agro-terrorism and marijuana possession.

New Hampshire

NH HB 4 (2019)

Investigation of law enforcement use of force; officer training

In relevant part, establishes an unclassified full-time investigator position in the department of justice to work on officer-involved use of deadly force investigations and to provide training to local law enforcement officers.

New Jersey

NJ SB 1036 (2019)

Investigation and review of law enforcement use of force

Provides that the attorney general handle investigation and prosecution of crimes involving a person's death by a law enforcement officer while acting in his or her official capacity or while in custody; requires a trial in a venue outside the county where the incident occurred.

New York

NY SB 1505 (2019)

Reporting and law enforcement policy (chokeholds)

Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary to implement the state public protection and general government budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

 

Note: Amends the executive law, in relation to requiring reports on the use of force and the executive law, in relation to requiring the establishment and regular updating of a model law enforcement use of force policy suitable for adoption by any law enforcement agency in the state.

Ohio

OH HB 64 (2015)

Data and reporting

Appropriated funds to implement recommendations of Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations, including database on use of force and officer-involved shootings.

Oklahoma

OK HB 2126 (2019)

Administrative review of law enforcement use of force

Relates to state government; relates to powers and duties of the State Bureau of Investigation; requires a contract with municipal or county law enforcement agencies to conduct administrative reviews of law enforcement use of force investigations for compliance with current investigative procedures, standards and law; requires all funds received as a result of the contract will be deposited in the State Bureau of Investigation Revolving Fund.

 

OK HB 1995 (2019)

Retention of records related to law enforcement incidents of officer-involved shootings and use of lethal force, among others

Relates to counties and county offices; relates to retention and disposal of county departmental records; directs the sheriff to keep recordings pursuant to a video retention schedule; requires counties to keep recordings of incidents for a specified time period; directs sheriffs to establish video retention schedules for certain recordings; states requirements of retention schedules; requires retention of evidentiary and non-evidentiary recordings, and written reports and records.

Tennessee

TN SB 1039 (2017)

Records related to investigation of law enforcement use of force

Amends law related to deaths and injuries involving law enforcement officers.

Texas

TX HB 1036 (2015)                  

Data and reporting

Relates to reporting requirements for injuries or deaths caused by peace officers and for injuries or deaths of peace officers; creates a written and electronic form for the full reporting by law enforcement agencies of incidents in which a peace officer discharges a firearm and causes injury or death and reports where a person who is not a police officer discharges a firearm and causes injury or death to the officer; requires posting of the report on an internet website.

 

TX H B245 (2017)

Data and reporting civil penalties

Relates to the consequence for a law enforcement agency's failure to comply with reporting requirements for certain injuries or deaths caused by peace officers; creates a criminal justice web portal by the office of the attorney general; provides a civil penalty.

 

TX SB 1849 (2017)                  

Data and reporting; requirements regarding police interactions

Relates to interactions between law enforcement and individuals detained or arrested on suspicion of the commission of criminal offenses, to the confinement, conviction, or release of those individuals, and to grants supporting populations that are more likely to interact frequently with law enforcement.

Utah

UT HB 70 (2014)

Law enforcement use of force

Modifies the State Code of Criminal Procedure regarding the use of forcible entry by law enforcement officers when conducting a search or making an arrest; requires the issuance of a warrant to be in accordance with existing law; requires law enforcement officers to identify themselves before forcing entry; amends existing law to allow law enforcement officers to force entry without first issuing a demand or explanation if there is sufficient probable cause; requires the use of the least amount of force.

 

UT SB 185 (2014)

Data and reporting

Modifies the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding reporting of information by law enforcement agencies; requires state or municipal law enforcement agencies to report to the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice; provides that the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice develop a standardized format to receive the reports from law enforcement entities; relates to tactical groups, reportable incidents, reasons for deployment, injury or death, threat assessment, weapons and warrants.

 

UT HB 361 (2015)                  

Investigation of law enforcement use of force

Modifies the Criminal Code regarding the investigation of peace officer use of force; requires the chief executive of a law enforcement agency to work with the district or county attorney to designate an agency to investigate instances of a peace officer use of force; requires the investigating agency not be the agency where officer is employed; requires adoption and posting of policies and procedures regarding the selection of an investigating agency for such event and to ensure proper investigations.

 

UT SB 82 (2015)

Law enforcement use of force

Amends existing law regarding the use of forcible entry by a law enforcement officer when executing a warrant; provides for guidelines and procedures regarding use of force; requires a law enforcement officer to wear a badge, label or identifiable clothing; specifies provisions related to body cameras; provides that a warrant authorizing forceful entry may not be issued solely for the purpose of an alleged controlled substance or for drug paraphernalia; relates to evidence; relates to certain proceedings.

 

UT HB 355 (2016)

Use of force training

Authorizes the attorney general to establish a training center and provide resources regarding law enforcement use of force. Requires the attorney general to make available statewide training and informational materials on the use of force by law enforcement.

Vermont

VT HB 22 (2017)

Use of force trainings and conduct; data and reporting

Relates to the professional regulation of law enforcement officers by the Criminal Justice Training Council; creates the State Police Advisory Commission; provides the executive director to grant up to a specified number of days a waiver to a law enforcement officer who has failed to meet his or her annual in-service training requirements but who is able to complete those training requirements within the time period permitted by the executive director.

Washington

WA HB 2908 (2016)

Oversight committee on use of force policies

Creates a joint legislative task force on the use of deadly force in community policing; requires the review of laws, practices and training programs regarding the use of deadly force in the state and in other states; requires the reviewing of current policies, practices and tools used by or otherwise available to law enforcement as an alternative to lethal use of force, including tasers and other nonlethal weapons; requires reviewing and recommending modification to standards of justifiable homicide.

 

WA HB 3003 (2018)

Stakeholder engagement; de-escalation training; criminal liability

Requires consultation with law enforcement agencies and community stakeholders to adopt rules for carrying out law enforcement training; requires certain consideration for the development of curricula; concerns violence de-escalation training and good faith standards for use of deadly force; provides for training, alone or in partnership with private parties; requires law enforcement personnel to provide or facilitate first aid; concerns criminally liable for using deadly force without malice.

 

WA HB 1064 (2019)

De-escalation, law enforcement training, criminal liability

Concerns law enforcement; includes de-escalation tactics and less lethal alternatives to deadly force in required training for law enforcement personnel; provides that a peace officer shall not be held criminally liable for using deadly force in good faith.

Wisconsin

WI AB 409 (2014)  

Investigation of deadly use of force

Relates to investigation of deaths involving a law enforcement officer; requires written policies and sets forth a procedure regarding such investigations.

 

WI SB 50 (2020)

Data retention and law enforcement use of force investigation

Creates and sets forth law enforcement policies, training and compliance relating to body cameras on law enforcement officers.

 

In particular, data from body cameras must be retained until final disposition of any investigation, case or complaint to which the data pertain involving an encounter that resulted in the death of any individual, actual or alleged physical injury to an individual or an encounter that resulted in a custodial arrest, a search during an authorized temporary questioning, or an encounter that included the use of force by a law enforcement officer, except if the only use of force was the use of a firearm to dispatch an injured wild animal.

Resources

NCSL Resources:

Community Policing Resources:

Website for The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services