Improving police training and accountability

Improving police training and accountability

Friday, March 12, 2021

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day for the safety and well-being of Hoosiers across the state. In order to support our police officers and improve transparency in policing, the Senate is considering House Bill 1006, which unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law March 9th.

HB 1006 would improve the training law enforcement officers receive so they are better prepared to handle sensitive interactions with citizens and update Indiana's policies on sanctioning the handful of "bad actors" who have a badge.

HB 1006 would also require police officers to undergo pre-basic, in-service and executive training to cover de-escalation of sensitive situations. The bill would also limit the use of chokeholds to situations in which deadly force is justified.

Additionally, HB 1006 would make it a Class A misdemeanor for officers to intentionally disable body or vehicle cameras to conceal or commit a crime. If an officer turns off a camera for innocent reasons and the camera subsequently fails to record a criminal act, the officer's act of turning off the camera would not be a crime. HB 1006 would require clear intent of the officer in order for them to be convicted.

HB 1006 would also improve transparency and accountability by requiring police departments looking to hire a person to contact every other police department the applicant has previously worked for to obtain their employment and disciplinary files. The bill would also tighten the Law Enforcement Training Board's procedures for decertifying officers for misconduct and require the Board to list on the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy website all of the officers who have been decertified by the board.

The changes that HB 1006 proposes are supported by various groups including the Fraternal Order of Police, the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and the NAACP. Senate Republicans fully support the brave police officers throughout Indiana who protect Hoosiers every day. HB 1006 will continue to support good officers by making sure bad actors don't make their job harder.

To follow HB 1006 through the legislative process and view other bills being considered this legislative session, click here.