AN ACT TO ENCOURAGE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO OPERATE PROGRAMS THAT EDUCATE CITIZENS REGARDING LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS, TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGER SIGNS OF POTENTIALLY VIOLENT ACTIVITIES, AND TO PROVIDE TRAINING TO CITIZENS WHO WANT TO PROVIDE VOLUNTEER SERVICES TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.
Enacts new GS 160A-289.3 (relating to chief of police) and GS 162-27 (relating to sheriff) to allow the chief of police of a local police department or of a county police department, or the sheriff, respectively, to establish a citizens academy that educates community members of the department’s operations and prepares participants to provide volunteer services. Requires the program to follow a pre-established curriculum that includes instruction on the recognition and reporting of suspicious activity indicative of criminal behavior and emphasizes recognition of activities and threats that might lead to acts of terrorism or other violence against civilians. Requires background checks on potential participants and requires excluding individuals based on prior criminal convictions or pending criminal charges or investigations. Allows using program graduates to provide volunteer services that support the department’s operations and increase community safety and security, including community patrols. Includes General Assembly findings.
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