Bill Summary for S 300 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Mar 15 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 300 (Public) Filed Monday, March 15, 2021
AN ACT TO INCREASE PROTECTIONS, TRAINING, AND OVERSIGHT FOR STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS; TO CREATE A DECERTIFICATION DATABASE; TO REQUIRE USE OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION'S NEXT GENERATION IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM AND RAP BACK SERVICE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT; TO REQUIRE REPORTING RELATED TO GIGLIO MATERIAL; TO EXPAND TRANSPORTATION OF INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT RESPONDENTS; TO STANDARDIZE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND ONGOING REQUIREMENTS; TO REQUIRE PSYCHOLOGICAL SCREENINGS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS PRIOR TO CERTIFICATION OR EMPLOYMENT; TO EDUCATE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ON MAINTAINING GOOD MENTAL HEALTH, AND TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ON MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES AVAILABLE; TO CREATE A PHYSICAL FITNESS STUDY; TO DECRIMINALIZE CERTAIN LOCAL ORDINANCES AND PROVIDE COMPLIANCE AS A DEFENSE TO AN ORDINANCE VIOLATION; TO MANDATE MISDEMEANOR FIRST APPEARANCES WHEN A DEFENDANT IS IN CUSTODY; TO REQUIRE USE OF THE NATIONAL DECERTIFICATION INDEX MAINTAINED BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS AND TRAINING IN THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS FOR CERTIFIED PERSONNEL; TO ESTABLISH A DUTY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO INTERVENE IN AND REPORT EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE; TO ADDRESS CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES WITH SATELLITE-BASED MONITORING RAISED IN STATE VERSUS GRADY AND CREATE A PROCESS TO REVIEW WHETHER OFFENDERS SUBJECT TO THAT CASE WHICH WERE REMOVED FROM SATELLITE-BASED MONITORING ARE OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE; TO REMOVE THE STANDARDS COMMISSIONS FROM A NONEXCLUSIVE LIST OF STATE AGENCY LICENSING BOARDS; TO PROTECT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS; TO AMEND THE LAW TO PROVIDE IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE OF BODY-WORN CAMERA RECORDINGS RELATED TO DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY; AND TO ESTABLISH THE BIPARTISAN NORTH CAROLINA LEGISLATIVE WORKING GROUP TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE RECODIFICATION OF NORTH CAROLINA'S CRIMINAL LAWS.
Intro. by Britt, Daniel, Lee.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Enacts new GS 114-2.7A requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ), in consultation with the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commissions), to develop and maintain a statewide database for law enforcement agencies to use to track all disciplinary actions and decertification of the state's law enforcement officers. Requires all of the state's law enforcement agencies to provide DOJ information requested to maintain the database and makes information that is confidential under State or federal law remain confidential.

Enacts the following new statutes directing the named entity to provide DOJ with the information requested regarding disciplinary actions against and decertification of the relevant law enforcement officers in order to maintain the statewide database; specifies that the information collected under the statutes will remain confidential. Enacts GS 20-196.6 (State Highway Patrol), GS 74E-10.1 (company police agency), GS 74G-10.1 (campus policy agency), GS 143B-927.1 (State Bureau of Investigation), GS 153A-213 (counties), GS 160A-290 (cities).

Effective October 1, 2021.

Part II.

Enacts new GS 143B-972.1 requiring the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to give the Commissions information from the State and National Repositories of Criminal Histories concerning the criminal history of any person applying to be certified as a criminal justice officer or justice officer or any other position that requires certification with either Commission. Requires providing the applicant's fingerprints and other requested identifying information. Requires the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to search the State's criminal history record file and forward a set of fingerprints to the FBI for a national criminal history record check. Requires the SBI to enroll each individual whose fingerprints are received into the FBI's Record of Arrest and Prosecution Background (Rap Back) Service. Requires the commissions to keep information confidential. Requires the SBI to maintain the fingerprints of the applicant in the Statewide Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Sets out requirements for removing the fingerprints from the system upon an individual being separated from employment. Effective December 1, 2021.

Part III.

Enacts new GS 114-2.7B requiring DOJ to consult with the Commissions in developing and maintaining a statewide database for use by law enforcement agencies that tracks all critical incident data of law enforcement officers in the state. Defines critical incident as an incident involving any use of force by a law enforcement officer resulting in death or serious bodily injury to a person. Requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to provide DOJ with information requested to maintain the database. Makes information that is confidential under State or federal law remain confidential. 

Enacts the following statutes to require the named entity to give DOJ the requested information on the use of force by the relevant law enforcement agencies in order to maintain the statewide database. Makes information that is confidential under State or federal law remain confidential. Enacts 20-196.7 (State Highway Patrol), GS 74E-10.2 (company police agency), GS 74G-10.2 (campus police agency), GS 143B-927.2 (SBI), GS 153A-213.1 (county), and GS 160A-290.1 (city).

Effective October 1, 2021.

Part IV.

Enacts GS 114-2.7C to require DOJ to consult with the Commissions and report annually beginning March 1, 2022, to the specified NCGA committee on law enforcement officers in the state that were notified by a judge or district attorney in the year prior to the report of an action of misconduct or untruthfulness on the part of the law enforcement officer that requires the disclosure of misconduct or untruthfulness to a criminal defendant against whom the law enforcement officer will serve as a witness. Requires all law enforcement officers in the state certified under GS Chapters 17C (North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission), 17E (North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission), 74E (Company Police Act), and 74G (Campus Police Act) to report to DOJ if the officer receives such a notification; requires the report to be made within 30 days of the notification. Effective October 1, 2021, and applies to notifications received by law enforcement officers on or after that date.

Part V. 

Requires the Commissions to jointly develop uniform, statewide minimum standards for law enforcement officers and adopt these standards as rules. Requires each commission to report on the standards to the specified NCGA committee by October 1, 2021. Allows each commission to adopt temporary rules and requires adopting permanent rules to comply with this act by October 1, 2022.

Part VI.

Amends GS 122C-251 to also allow a clerk, magistrate, or district court judge to allow a respondent's health care provider (was, limited to a respondent's immediate family or friend) to transport the respondent for involuntary commitment. Makes conforming changes. Applies to custody orders issued on or after October 1, 2021.

Part VII.

Amends GS 17C-6 (North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission) and GS 17E-4 (North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission) by expanding upon the Commissions' powers to also include: (1) establishing minimum mental health screening protocols that must be met in order to qualify for entry level employment and retention as a criminal justice officer in temporary or probationary status or in a permanent position; specifies that this must include a psychological screening within one year prior to certification and (2) establishing minimum annual mental health screening protocols for officers, including a psychological screening. Further amends the existing power to create minimum educational and training standards that must be met in order to qualify for entry level employment and retention as a criminal justice officer, by adding that those standards must also include: (1) crisis intervention training regarding best practices when a criminal justice officer encounters an individual experiencing a behavioral health crisis and (2) education and training on current and former trends and examples of civil unrest in the state and nation. Effective January 1, 2022.

Requires the Commissions to jointly study the benefits of requiring physical fitness testing throughout a law enforcement officer's career and whether that testing, if required, should be incrementally adjusted for age. Requires a report on their findings to the specified NCGA committee by December 1, 2021.

Part VIII.

Enacts the following statutes requiring the specified entity to develop and implement an early warning system to document and track the relevant category of law enforcement officer actions and behaviors to help that entity manage personnel by intervening to correct the officers performance. Requires the system to include information on (1) instances of the discharge of a firearm, (2) instances of use of force, (3) vehicle collisions, and (4) citizen complaints. Makes information collected under this section that is confidential under State or federal law remain confidential. Enacts GS 20-196.8 (State Highway Patrol), GS 74E-10.3 (company police agency), GS 74G-10.3 (campus police agency), GS 143B-927.3 (SBI), GS 153A-213.2 (county), and GS 160A-290.2 (city). 

Part IX.

Requires the Commissions to jointly develop a best practices guide to help law enforcement agencies recruit and retain a diverse workforce. Requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by March 1, 2022.

Part X.

Amends GS 143B-919 to require the SBI, when requested by the Governor, to investigate and prepare evidence in the event of: (1) a sworn law enforcement officer with the power to arrest discharging the officer's firearm in the performance of the officer's duties, excluding during training exercises; (2) a sworn law enforcement officer with the power to arrest using force against an individual in the performance of the officer's duties that results in the death of, or serious bodily injury to, the individual; or (3) an individual in the custody of DPS, a State prison, a county jail, or a local confinement facility, regardless of the individual's physical location, dies or suffers serious bodily injury. Effective October 1, 2021.

Part XI.

Amends GS 17C-6, and GS 17E-4, as amended above, to amend the Commission's duties to establish minimum standards for in-service training for criminal justice officers, to require the inclusion of training on: ethics, mental health for justice officers, community interaction, implicit bias and racial equity, use of force, and the duty to intervene and report. Effective January 1, 2022.

Part XII.

Amends GS 150B-1 to exempt from rulemaking the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission with respect to establishing minimum standards for in-service training for criminal justice officers and the Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission with respect to establishing minimum standards for in-service training for justice officers.

Part XIII.

Requires the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to automatically enroll all criminal defendants into its court date reminder system. Allows opting out using a process developed by AOC; requires the opt-out process to be developed and implemented by December 1, 2021. Effective December 1, 2021, and applies to criminal defendants arrested on or after that date.

Part XIV.

Amends GS 14-4 to make it an infraction, instead of a Class 3 misdemeanor, to violate an ordinance of a county, city, town, or metropolitan sewerage district, punishable of a fine of no more than $50. Specifies that the statute does not restrict the authority of a county, city, town, or metropolitan sewerage district to impose civil penalties for the violation of any ordinance pursuant to the specified statutory authority to enforce ordinances. Makes conforming changes.

Enacts GS 14-4.2 prohibiting convicting a person of a criminal offense unless the offense appears in GS Chapter 14 (Criminal Law), GS Chapter 20 (Motor Vehicles), or Article 5 (Controlled Substances Act) of GS Chapter 90 or the offense is a common law offense. Specifies that this does not apply to a person who has actual knowledge that the behavior which is the basis for being charged with the offense constitutes a crime. Applies to offenses enacted on or after September 1, 2021.

Part XV.

Amends GS 14-288.2 to make it a Class H (was, Class I) felony to willfully engage in a riot. Makes it a Class G felony (was, Class H) to willfully engage in a riot if: (1) in the course and as a result of the riot there is property damage in excess of $1,500 or serious bodily injury or (2) the participant in the riot has in his or her possession any dangerous weapon or substance. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021.

Part XVI.

Amends GS 15A-601 to add the requirement that a defendant charged in a magistrate's order under GS 15A-511 or criminal process under Article 17 of GS Chapter 15A with a misdemeanor offense and held in custody must be brought before a district court judge in the district court district in which the crime is charged to have been committed. Specifies that this first appearance is not a critical stage of the proceedings against the defendant. Also amends the statute to require that first appearance before a district court judge be held within 48 hours (was, 96 hours) after the defendant is taken into custody or at the first regular session of the district court in the county, whichever occurs first. Makes conforming changes. Makes language gender-neutral. Applies to criminal processes served on or after December 1, 2021.

Part XVII.

Includes a severability clause.

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