HARRISBURG – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey formally joined the coalition formed by Attorney General Shapiro to end the practice of law enforcement agencies unknowingly hiring officers with documented patterns of excessive use of force or other misconduct.
“When law enforcement officers break the public trust by using excessive force or engaging in other forms of misconduct, their record should follow them across the Commonwealth and across the country,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). “No law enforcement agency should hire an officer without a thorough review of the officer’s record, which is why I support this effort as well as a public federal database that compiles officer certification records, misconduct complaints and disciplinary and termination records. I commend Attorney General Shapiro for his work on this issue, and I urge the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass this bill swiftly.”
“Senator Casey’s support is crucial and will help make this critical reform a reality in Pennsylvania,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Senator Casey understands that public service requires listening and acting on community needs, and the General assembly should deliver. This effort is a down payment on the reforms we must make so all Pennsylvanians feel safe in their own communities.”
The group consists of: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert, FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby, President of the Pennsylvania State Lodge FOP Les Neri, Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, five Pennsylvania District Attorneys, and now Senator Casey.
The group states, “Officers who engage in misconduct or use excessive force erode trust in law enforcement and make it harder for our communities to be and feel safe. When they leave an agency, or retire in lieu of termination, that record needs to go with them. We stand united in calling for reform of the hiring process so that law enforcement agencies have the information to make informed decisions about the personnel they hire.”
Interdepartmental police hiring reform has been called for by experts and grassroots community groups as well as the State Legislature Police Reform Working Group, and has recently been introduced at the federal level.
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