Williams’ police reform bill signed into law

HARRISBURG, July 14 – A police reform bill sponsored by State Rep. Dan Williams, D-Chester, that would bring about the most significant changes to Pennsylvania policing in at least 40 years was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf today as Act 59 of 2020.

Williams’ H.B. 1910 will update police training in several areas, including recognizing and reporting child abuse; de-escalation and harm reduction techniques; interacting with individuals of diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds; and appropriate use of force. House Bill 1910 is one of 19 bills that members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus urged be considered by the House.

The bill was recently passed unanimously by the House and the Senate, along with H.B. 1841, which would require employers to disclose employment information to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a background investigation of an applicant. H.B.1841 was also signed into law by the governor.

“A resounding cry for justice for all citizens has risen up throughout our commonwealth and our nation,” Williams said. “The General Assembly has responded to this impassioned demand to protect the vulnerable by passing these two police reform bills unanimously and by the governor by signing them into law.

“I’m proud that my bill will enhance the training the police receive so they can better serve the public and expand the reporting system to protect children from child abuse.

“The swift passage of these bills and their enactment into law is a sign that police reform and child protection are not partisan issues.”

This is Williams’ first bill to clear a committee and pass the House since he took office in 2019.

“As a first-term representative in the minority party, it can be particularly difficult to see action on bills. I’m encouraged, however, by my bill’s swift passage and enactment into law. This is not the end of our struggle, but a gigantic step forward towards achieving greater treatment under the law for all in Pennsylvania.”

For more information on William’s H.B. 1910, contact his office at (484) 200-8256.