Centre Co. DA supports PA law for a required statewide database on police officer misconduct

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BELLEFONTE, CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Thursday, five Pennsylvania County District Attorneys, along with PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro, announced their support for a state law that would require a database for officers with past misconduct issues.

Centre County DA Bernie Cantorna is one-of-the-five DA’s voicing support for the law.

He said it would require local police to update their database on officers, such that if one attempted to work at another department in PA, the officer’s history could be checked by that other department.

Cantorna said currently officer misconduct is not always reported from one PA police dept. to another. For example, if an officer had a confirmed history for misuse of force and then applied to another police dept… the other dept. may not have access to this history (and could potentially hire the officer without this background information).

Cantorna said this law would change that.

“Unless you have a local police agency creating that record and putting it in the database, it would not be there. So it really does call for local accountability. There should be a strong level of local control because that’s where all the strong questions get answered,” he said “The law’s gonna tell them that they have to create that information–an obligation to create that database.”

Cantorna said the law could be exiting committee in the state legislatures and be up for a vote fairly soon.

Since this is a state law, it would only apply to officers in PA.

A complete copy of the press release on police hiring reform is below.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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