AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN POLICIES AND STANDARDS SURROUNDING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS.
Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to alert law enforcement agencies to available grant funds and assist law enforcement agencies with drafting and submitting grant proposals and applications.
Appropriates $200,000 in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 biennium from the General Fund to DOJ to hire two full-time grant writers.
Effective July 1, 2021.
Appropriates $250,000 in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 biennium from the General Fund to DOJ to award grants to law enforcement agencies for initiatives supporting community policing. Effective July 1, 2021.
Appropriates $500,000 in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 biennium from the General Fund to DOJ to be used for grants: (1) provided to law enforcement agencies to be awarded to law enforcement officers exhibiting exemplary service and (2) awarded to law enforcement agencies for meeting racial or gender diversity benchmarks. Caps grant awards at $10,000. Effective July 1, 2022.
Enacts new GS 17C-17 to require the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to develop and maintain a statewide database that contains all revocations and suspensions of law enforcement officer certifications by the Commission, to be accessible to DOJ and law enforcement agencies for hiring purposes. Requires use of the database by all law enforcement agencies in the state before making a hiring decision. Enacts new GS 17E-14 setting out identical requirements for the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission to develop and maintain a statewide database that contains all revocations and suspensions of justice officer certifications by the Commission. Effective October 1, 2021.
Amends GS 15A-401(d)(2), which sets out when a law-enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force, by making the following changes. Adds that the use of deadly force includes strangleholds, lateral vascular neck restraints, carotid restraints, or any other tactics that restrict oxygen or blood flow to the head or neck. Adds that a law-enforcement officer who witnesses another law-enforcement officer using excessive force that is not justified or is otherwise abusing a suspect or arrestee has a duty to intervene and to report the use of excessive force or the abuse. Requires in all circumstances in which a law-enforcement officer uses force of any kind, that a law-enforcement officer use the minimum amount of force reasonably necessary to accomplish the law-enforcement action and attempt to use de-escalation tactics.
Enacts GS 114-2.8 requiring the DOJ, in consultation with the Training Commissions, to develop and maintain a statewide database to be used by law enforcement agencies that tracks all critical incident data of law enforcement officers in North Carolina. Defines critical incident as an incident involving any use of force by a law enforcement officer that results in a person's death or serious bodily injury. Makes information in the database confidential. Enacts the following statutes requiring the specified entities to provide DOJ with information for this database: (1) GS 20-196.6, requiring the State Highway Patrol to provide information on the use of force by State Troopers; (2) GS 74E-10.1, requiring company police agencies to provide information on use of force by its law enforcement officers; (3) GS 74G-10.1, requiring campus police agencies to provide information on the use of force by its law enforcement officers; (4) GS 143B-927.1, requiring the SBI to provide information on the use of force by its law enforcement officers; (5) GS 153A-213, requiring counites to provide information on the use of force by its law enforcement officers; and (6) GS 160A-290, requiring cities to provide information on the use of force by its law enforcement officers.
The above provisions are effective October 1, 2021.
Requires the Attorney General, in consultation with the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, to develop uniform use-of-force policies that may be adopted by all law enforcement agencies in the state. Requires the policies to be submitted to the specified NCGA committee by December 1, 2022, published on DOJ's website, and distributed digitally to all law enforcement agencies in the state.
Amends GS 17C-6 to also give the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission the power to establish minimum: (1) age requirement of 21 for qualification for entry level employment as a criminal justice officer; (2) mental health screening protocols that must be met to qualify for entry level employment and retention as a criminal justice officer, to include a psychological screening within one year prior to certification; and (3) annual mental health screening protocols for criminal justice officers.
Amends GS 17E-12 to allow the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission access to a person's misdemeanor conviction records and allow the Commission to deny, suspend, or revoke a person's certification based solely on that person's conviction of four or more misdemeanors.
The above provisions are effective January 1, 2022.
Appropriates $1 million in recurring funds for each year of the 2021-23 fiscal biennium from the General Fund to DOJ for grants to law enforcement agencies to temporarily provide funding for detective or other investigative law enforcement positions in order to aid in the investigation of person crimes that would constitute a charge of a Class D felony or higher. Effective July 1, 2021.
Includes a severability clause.
© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.