TESTIMONY FOR SB0042

Public Safety - Police Officers - Screening for Violent Behavior, Aggressive Behavior, and Bias

Bill Sponsor: Senator Young

Committee: Judicial Proceedings

Organization Submitting: Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

Person Submitting: Jared Schablein 

Position: FAVORABLE

I am submitting this testimony in favor of SB0042 on behalf of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus. The Caucus is a political and activist organization on the Eastern Shore, unaffiliated with any political party, committed to empowering working people by building a Progressive Movement. 

Caucus members consistently support legislation that builds toward a more perfect justice system, and legislation that promotes the highest level of transparency possible, toward the greater ability of the people to review the ways its government operates.

This legislation addresses many of the issues that have caused the horrific acts of brutality we saw over the summer and for years now primarily towards communities of color.  The issue addressed is training. This legislation ensures that our law enforcement officers are well trained and adapting to changing environments and methods of de-escalation, conflict resolution, and crime reduction.  

The second issue that is addressed is ensuring only individuals who can fulfill the standard and stresses of the job get hired. This is accomplished by prohibiting a law enforcement agency from employing an individual as a police officer unless the individual has undergone and achieved a satisfactory result on a certain psychological screening By implementing this policy we can ensure the integrity and stability of our law enforcement agencies by preventing the hiring of unqualified and dangerous individuals unsuited for the job.

The third issue is removing those who violate their oath and commit acts of brutality from their duty so they no longer pose a threat to the community. By requiring that a police officer who has been convicted of killing or causing a debilitating injury against another person be terminated from employment we can assure that there are tangible consequences for committing acts of brutality and prevent individuals from being repeat offenders of these horrendous crimes 

It is for these reasons the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus supports this bill and recommends a FAVORABLE report in committee.

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