AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSION.
Amends GS 15A-401(d), which governs use of force by a law enforcement officer during arrest. Adds a new duty for an officer that witnesses another officer using excessive force not justified under the statute or otherwise abusing a suspect or arrestee to intervene and to report the use of excessive force or the abuse in writing to the officer's supervisor, department head, or other appropriate authority. Prohibits retaliation against an officer that acts in good faith that intervenes or submits a report pursuant to the new duty.
Amends GS 17C-6, applicable to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and GS 17E-4, applicable to the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission, as follows. Requires both Commissions to include in their standards for entry level employment and in-service training of justice officers and officers: (1) training regarding de-escalation and other techniques that avoid the use of force, (2) training regarding implicit bias and racial equity, and (3) training regarding the duty to intervene and report when another criminal justice officer is using excessive force.
Effective January 1, 2022.
Appropriates $663,579 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Justice for each year of the 2021-23 biennium to be allocated to the Criminal Justice Fellows Program for recruitment as specified. Effective July 1, 2021.
Directs DOJ to consult with the Department of Public Safety and the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission, to develop model law enforcement agency protest response and engagement polices. Directs DOJ to report the model policies developed to the specified NCGA committee by March 1, 2022.
Enacts GS 143B-919(b1), requiring the SBI to criminally investigate and prepare evidence when the use of force of a sworn law enforcement officer of the State or any local subdivision of the State in the performance of the officer's duties constitutes deadly force and results in the death or serious bodily injury of a person. Requires investigation of an SBI employee by an independent entity. Requires a law enforcement agency to report an officer-involved use-of-force incident required to be investigated to the SBI within 24 hours as required by the SBI. Makes an agency failing to report ineligible for funding from the Governor's Crime Commission and the Governor's Highway Safety Program until the required report is delivered. Provides for written notice of funding ineligibility for a period of two years upon repeated failure to timely report as required if further failure occurs. Requires notice of funding eligibility following a determination of further failure after receipt of written notice to include the date when the agency's eligibility is reinstated. Effective October 1, 2021.
Amends GS 120-70.94, adding to the continual duties of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety to require the Committee to investigate and make recommendations to the appropriate authority regarding corrective action to be taken against a law enforcement officer serving within the state, or the suspension or revocation of certification of a law enforcement officer certified by the State.
Enacts GS 114-2.7A, directing DOJ to consult with the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission to develop and maintain a statewide database for use by law enforcement agencies that tracks all law enforcement officer separations from employment, whether voluntary or involuntary, related to the use of force of a law enforcement officer. Requires all law enforcement agencies to provide DOJ information requested to maintain the database. Provides for the confidentiality of the information collected. Specifies that inclusion of an officer in the database creates no presumptions regarding the retention, suspension, or revocation of that law enforcement officer's certification.
Enacts the following statutes to require the specified agencies to provide DOJ the required information regarding employment separation due to use of force in order to maintain the statewide database, as well as providing for the confidentiality of information collected: GS 20-106.6 (State Highway Patrol and Troopers), GS 74E-10.1 (company police agencies and their officers), GS 74G-10.1 (campus police agencies and their officers), GS 143B-927.1 (SBI and its officers), GS 153A-213 (counties and their officers), and GS 160A-290 (cities and their officers).
Effective October 1, 2021.
Provides that the act is effective on the date the act becomes law, unless otherwise provided.
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