Governor Lamont has signed policing reform legislation into law. It increases accountability for those in law enforcement whose actions do not represent the values of the state and also increases the public’s trust of police officers. This long-term issue earned renewed focus this spring following the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others, by some police and law enforcement.
Highlights of An Act Concerning Police Accountability:
- Changes in the membership of the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST), which provides certifications and trainings to police officers in Connecticut. POST will be reconstituted to include persons impacted by the judicial system and towns of various sizes.
- POST will issue an annual report on police department efforts to recruit minority officers, and it will develop new crowd control policies, require implicit bias training, and ensure that police disciplinary records are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
- Uniformed police officers must have their names and badge numbers readily visible on all outer garments.
- Cities and towns can create civilian review boards, which will have subpoena power through their local legislative bodies (i.e. Board of Selectmen).
- Body and dashboard cameras will be mandatory for any officer interacting with the public.
- Chokeholds, strangleholds and other tactics restraining oxygen and blood flow are banned, and officers will have whistleblower protections to report excessive use of force.
- A new Independent Office of the Inspector General will conduct use of force investigations.