Ciresi praises passage of cosponsored police reform bills

HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, praised the unanimous passage of two police reform bills today in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Ciresi was a cosponsor of both bills.

H.B. 1841 and H.B. 1910 both passed via 201-0 votes and were sent to the Senate. If the bills pass the Senate, they will be sent to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk, where he is expected to sign them into law.

“Today’s unanimous votes are a significant first step toward addressing social justice issues that have driven a divide between law enforcement and the community,” Ciresi said. “To bridge that gap, we have much work still to do. This legislation marks the beginning of necessary work we all must do – as a commonwealth and as fellow human beings – to rebuild trust and fulfill our obligation to equal justice under the law.”

H.B. 1841 would require sharing of employment records and establish a statewide database of officer misconduct so municipalities can make fully informed hiring decisions for law enforcement positions. It also would require a law enforcement agency which hires an officer with prior disciplinary or criminal issues to explain the reasoning for the hire.

H.B. 1910 would require mandatory training to help police officers detect and report child abuse, interact with individuals of diverse backgrounds and address implicit bias, and with appropriate use of force and de-escalation techniques. The bill also contains protocols for post-traumatic stress disorder evaluations of law enforcement officers under certain circumstances and provides for additional training of minor judiciary regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse.

“As in any career and work environment, those who dishonor their profession and break the rules shouldn’t be allowed to simply move to another location and continue their employment as if nothing happened,” Ciresi said. “H.B. 1841 would provide that type of accountability, preventing law enforcement who break their sworn oath to protect and serve from freely bouncing to a new position. H.B. 1910, meanwhile, offers commonsense training, services and education for those whose jobs test them in high-stress situations every day. Together, these bills are a start to rebuilding trust.

“I am proud to have voted yes on each of these bills, and I look forward to continuing to work on social justice reform.”