Bill Summary for S 300 (2021)

Summary date: 

May 5 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

Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. 

Part I.

Eliminates the previous content of Part I. and replaces it with the following. Enacts GS 17C-14 and GS 17E-14 to direct NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the NC Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission (hereinafter the Commissions) to develop and maintain a statewide database accessible to the public on their respective websites that contains all revocations and suspensions of law enforcement officer certifications by the respective Commission. Effective October 1, 2021. 

Part II.

Deletes the content of proposed GS 143B-972.1 and replaces it with the following. Requires the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to provide the Commissions the criminal history of any applicant for certification or any person certified as a criminal justice officer or justice officer, or any other position that requires certification by the Commission. Requires each employing agency to provide the fingerprints of certified officers and other identifying information as necessary. Establishes procedures for the criminal history checks and requires removal of an individual's fingerprints upon withdrawal of an application or upon separation from employment. Requires the SBI to enroll each individual whose fingerprints are received under this section in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Next Generation Identification (NGI) System and Criminal Justice Record of Arrest and Prosecution Background (Rap Back) Service. Also requires the SBI to notify the certifying Commission of any subsequent arrest of an individual identified through the Rap Back Service. Provides for confidentiality of information obtained pursuant to this statute. 

Requires all personnel certified by either Commission to have their fingerprints electronically submitted to the SBI for a criminal history check by June 30, 2023.

Effective January 1, 2023. 

Part III.

Deletes the previous content of Part III. and replaces it with the following. 

Enacts GS 17C-15 and GS 17E-15 to require the Criminal Justice Standards Division of the Department of Justice (Division) to develop and maintain a statewide database for use by law enforcement agencies that tracks all critical incident data of law enforcement officers in the state. Requires all law enforcement agencies in the state that employ personnel certified by the respective Commission to provide information requested by the Division to maintain the database. Makes information that is confidential under State or federal law remain confidential. Gives the officer reported as being involved in a critical incident to request a contested case hearing regarding the determination prior to the incident being placed in the database. Amends GS 17C-2 and GS 17E-2 to add and define 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.

Effective October 1, 2021.

Part IV.

Deletes the content of previous Part IV. and replaces it with the following.

Enacts GS 17C-16, concerning persons certified by the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and GS 17E-16, concerning persons certified by the NC Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission. Requires the certified individual, or any individual who has received a conditional offer of employment, who has been notified that the individual will not be called to testify at trial based on bias, interest, or lack of credibility to report to and provide a copy of the notification to the Criminal Justice Standards Division (under GS 17C-16) or the Justice Officers' Standards Division (under GS 17E-16), as appropriate, within 30 days of receiving the notification. Limits the reporting requirement to notifications: (1) in writing by a superior court judge, district court judge, federal judge, district attorney, assistant district attorney, US attorney, assistant US attorney, or the individual's agency head or (2) in open court by a superior court judge, district court judge, or federal judge, and documented in a written order. Provides for required content of the report. Also requires notification of the individual's agency head within the same time period, who then must report the notification to the named Division, as appropriate, within 30 days of the agency head's receipt of the individual's report. Requires the identified judicial officials and state and federal prosecutors who notify an individual that they may not be called to testify at trial as provided to report the notification to the named Division, as appropriate, and provide a copy of the written document or order within 30 days of notifying the individual. Requires the individual to provide the appropriate Division a copy of a document subsequently informing the individual that the notification has been rescinded. 

Directs each named Division to provide a written notification to both the head of an agency to which a certification of any person required to report following the specified notification is transferred and the elected district attorney in the prosecutorial district where the agency is located of the previous notification. Provides for the Division to notify every elected district attorney statewide if the new agency is a State agency. Makes these provisions not applicable if a notification is subsequently rescinded in writing. 

Directs each Commission to annually report to the specified NCGA committee regarding the number of individuals for whom their respective Division received a report required of individuals by the respective statute during the previous year, with specified information for each case, excluding identifying information. 

Deems the reports and notifications received under each statute not public record. Provides for a person who has received notification that may meet the reporting requirement to apply for a judicial determination, with judicial review limited as specified, with one 15-day extension added to the reporting requirement if the respective Division is noticed of the hearing. 

Applies to notifications received prior to, on, or after October 1, 2021, by persons required to report under the act. 

Part V. 

Now requires the Commissions to jointly develop uniform, statewide minimum standards for law enforcement officers and justice officers (was, only law enforcement officers) and adopt these standards as rules. Requires each Commission to report on the standards to the specified NCGA committee by December 31, 2021 (was, October 1, 2021). Allows each commission to adopt temporary rules and requires adopting permanent rules to comply with this act by December 31, 2022 (was October 1, 2022).

Part VII.

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 17C-6 (North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission) and GS 17E-4 (North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission), and instead amends the statutes to expand upon the Commissions' duties to establish minimum educational and training standards for criminal justice officers and justice officers as follows. Now requires standards for entry level employment as a criminal justice officer or justice officer to include education and training to develop knowledge and increase awareness of effective mental health and wellness strategies, and requires standards for in-service training to include training to develop knowledge and increase awareness of effective mental health and wellness strategies, with two hours of training required on this issue every three years.

In developing the standards, encourages the Commissions to adopt standards that provide training conducted by mental health professionals and through face-to-face instruction.

Amends GS 17C-10, concerning the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and criminal justice officers, and GS 17E-7, concerning the NC Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission and justice officers, to require both Commissions to include the administration of a psychological screening exam, including an in-person interview conducted by a licensed psychologist, prior to certification or employment to determine the officer's mental and emotional suitability to properly fulfill the responsibilities of a criminal justice or justice officer, respectively. 

Requires the Commissions to implement the above requirements by January 1, 2022. Makes the above provisions of this Part effective January 1, 2022.

Requires both Commissions to regularly provide information on any statewide mental health resources specifically available to criminal justice officers or justice officers to all criminal justice agencies or departments in the state that employ officers certified by either Commission. 

Requires all criminal justice agencies or departments in the state that employ certified criminal justice officers or certified justice officers to coordinate with the appropriate LME/MCO or prepaid health plan to make information on State and local mental health resources and programs easily available to all employees and develop policies to encourage employees to utilize the resources available. 

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 March 31, 2022.

Part VIII.

Deletes the previous content of Part VIII. and replaces it with the following. Enacts GS 17A-10 to require every State agency that employs personnel certified by either Commission to develop and implement an early warning system to document and track the actions and behaviors of law enforcement officers, as defined, for intervention and performance improvement purposes. Requires inclusion of instances of the discharge of a firearm, instances of use of force, vehicle collisions, and citizen complaints. Deems information confidential. Effective December 1, 2021.

Part IX.

Makes technical changes to the directive requiring the Commissions to jointly develop a best practices guide to help law enforcement agencies recruit and retain a diverse workforce. Now requires a report to the specified NCGA committee by April 1, 2022 (was, March 1, 2022).

Part X.

Revises proposed GS 143B-919(b1) to require the SBI, when requested by the Governor, or a sheriff, chief of police, head of a State law enforcement agency, district attorney, or the Commissioner of Prisons (was, upon the request of the Governor only), to investigate and prepare evidence in the event of: (1) 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 (2) 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. No longer includes the event of 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. Defines the term serious bodily injury

Part XI.

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 17C-6, and GS 17E-4, as amended above, and instead amends the Commission's duties to establish minimum standards for in-service training for sworn law enforcement officers (previously not specified), to require the inclusion of training on: ethics, mental health for justice officers, community policing, minority sensitivity, use of force, and the duty to intervene and report. Makes conforming changes. Effective January 1, 2022.

Part XII.

Provides that the proposed changes to GS 150B-1 are effective on the date the act becomes law.

Part XV.

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 14-288.2 and replaces them with the following. Makes it a Class G felony for a person to riot and cause property damage in excess of $1,500 in the course of the riot (was, a Class H felony and did not specifically require the person to cause the property damage). Makes it a Class F felony for a person to riot and cause serious bodily injury to another or if the person brandishes a dangerous weapon or uses a dangerous substance in the course of the riot (was, a Class H felony, grouped with property damage in excess of $1,500). Defines dangerous substance. Adds a new provision to specify that mere presence alone without advert act is not sufficient to sustain a conviction for rioting offenses under the statute. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021.

Part XVI.

Revises the proposed changes to GS 15A-601, to require that first appearance before a district court judge be held within 72 hours (was, 48 hours; current law is 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 first appearances before the clerk of court mirror the 72-hour requirement. 

Adds the following new content to the act.

Part XVII.

Further amends GS 17C-6 and GS 17E-4, adding to the powers and duties of the Commissions the duty to search the National Decertification Index maintained by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training using the name of every applicant for certification or applicant for lateral transfer, and any other identifying information necessary, and use any record of conviction uncovered to determine if the applicant has any record that would disqualify the applicant for certification. Effective October 1, 2021.

Part XVIII.

Amends GS 15A-401 (Arrest by Law Enforcement Officers) to add (d1) establishing the duty of law enforcement officers who observes another officer using excessive force to intervene, if safe to do so, to prevent the use of excessive force and to report use of excessive force, even if the officer was unable to intervene, within 72 hours. Effective December 1, 2021, and applies to use of force on or after that date.

Part XIX.

Amends GS 93B-1(3) to remove the Commissions from the nonexhaustive list of State agency licensing boards. Effective December 1, 2021. 

Part XX.

Amends GS 14-208.6, providing for defined terms applicable to Article 27A (Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Programs). Adds and defines predatory recidivist as a person who has two or more convictions for sexually violent offenses. Revises the definition for sexually violent offense to include a violation of an offense in another state, which if committed in this State, is substantially similar to a sexually violent offense as defined by the statute.

Amends the terminology in the following sections of Article 27A to refer to offenders who are predatory recidivists rather than recidivists: GS 14-208.40; GS 14-208.40A; and GS 14-208.40B.

Amends GS 14-208.43 to now allow an offender meeting the description of GS 14-208.40(a)(1) or (a)(3) who is required to submit to satellite-based monitoring for life to petition for termination or modification of the requirement with the superior court 10 years from the date of initial enrollment in the program under Article 27A or the laws of another jurisdiction (currently only provides for requesting termination of the requirement with the Post Release Supervision and Parole Commission, and does not provide a waiting period). Makes conforming deletions of procedure regarding the previous method of requests to the Commission. Now requires the appropriate district attorney to be given at least three weeks' notice before the hearing. Provides for the petitioner and the district attorney to present evidence at the hearing. Allows for the victim of the underlying offense to appear and be heard at the hearing, as described, and to receive notice if so elected, as specified, with a judge charged with inquiring as to whether the victim is present and wishes to be heard. Provides for the petition to be granted only if the court makes specified findings, including that the petitioner does not have subsequent arrests for offenses against a minor, aggravated offenses, or sexually violent offenses. Defines the court's authority in issuing an order, including continuing the requirement for a specified period. Sets a two year waiting period between petitions following denial. Requires orders granting the petition to be forwarded to the Commission.

Effective August 1, 2021. 

Directs the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice to provide elected District Attorneys a list of individuals residing in their respective district that is subject to State v. Grady (NC 2019), and charges District Attorneys with either deciding to handle the each case or having the Attorney General handle the case. Provides for a District Attorney to request the Attorney General make a preliminary determination whether the recidivist subject to the Grady case may meet any requirement to enroll in a satellite-based monitoring program other than begin a recidivist and represent the State in any proceedings created in this provision. Requires review by the DA or AG of every class member, and notify any individual and the respective sheriff that may meet any requirement to enroll in a satellite-based monitoring program other than begin a recidivist. Allows for the DA or AG to petition the court for a judicial determination of whether an individual meets the criteria. Effective August 1, 2021, and applies to any individual required to enroll in the satellite-based monitoring program based solely on being a "recidivist" on or after August 16, 2019. 

Changes the act's long title. 

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