Wheatley reintroduces bill to create police oversight board

PITTSBURGH, March 26 – Recent incidents involving some Pittsburgh-area law enforcement officers have prompted state Rep. Jake Wheatley to reintroduce legislation that would establish an oversight board to set standards for training, certification and provide ongoing education for law enforcement.

Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said a recent article highlighted some disturbing posts on a private Facebook group with current and retired police officers, which included transphobic posts and bullying against members of law enforcement who marched with or supported Black Lives Matter protests.

“Their conduct was and is unbecoming and disturbing, to say the least,” Wheatley said. “These are officers we trust to protect the public and keep us safe, and they should be property vetted and trained. That means meeting professional standards, education requirements and proving good moral character, the same criteria we expect from other licensed and certified professions, including doctors, lawyers and veterinary technicians.”

Wheatley’s legislation would implement certification and decertification standards for law enforcement, including state police troopers, municipal and correctional officers, and sheriffs. The measure would also establish a venue to address behavioral misconduct concerns.

“While certification and training standards currently exist for these positions, the certification and training standards are separate, based on the department or entity in which they are employed. My bill would standardize professionalism for all law enforcement members and ensure they meet the high standards our residents expect and deserve.”

More information on Wheatley’s measure can be found at the following link:  https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=35184.