Readshaw police background bill signed into law

A measure requiring law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough background investigation on potential new hires was signed into law today by Gov. Tom Wolf, state Rep. Harry Readshaw announced. The legislation was passed unanimously in both the House and Senate chambers.

“House Bill 1841, which is part of a larger package of historic reforms geared at  improving accountability for those who serve as police officers in our communities, will ensure Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies have all the information they need to select the best candidates for police officer positions, and I’m pleased it is now becoming law,” Readshaw said.

According to Readshaw, H.B. 1841 will require a hiring agency to review an applicant’s previous employment record before he or she can be hired. It also requires law enforcement agencies to keep records of the reason for a police officer’s separation from service. This includes criminal records, civil suits and any other ethical complaints against the officer.

“The intent of my legislation is to foster trust in law enforcement agencies by ensuring they do not unknowingly hire an officer with a history of misconduct,” Readshaw said. “It will also boost the integrity of police officers who serve the public with honor.”

House Bill 1841 was amended in the Judiciary Committee to require all law enforcement agencies to maintain separation records of police officers, which will be available to agencies in an electronic database maintained by the state Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.