Lawmakers make progress in the realm of police reforms
State lawmakers’ accomplishments this year include some progress on police reforms.
Many lawmakers pushed for police reform measures in the wake of the George Floyd protests last year.
And they were largely successful in advancing legislation recommended by the Law Enforcement Accountability Task force.
State Sen. Marie Pinkney (D-New Castle) shepherded a few of those bills, including changing the use of force standard and requiring officers to wear body cameras statewide.
“It wasn’t just the community saying what they wanted to see in policing and it wasn’t just police what they wanted to see in policing — we were really able to get all of the different stakeholders engaged together to make for a really seamless, well, not seamless, but a good bill that everybody seems to be satisfied with at the end,” she said.
But some legislation remains on the table, awaiting action Sen. Elizabeth Lockman’s (D-Wilmington) bill changing the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights failed to get enough support to pass this year. It did not have law enforcement support.
Lawmakers did pass a bill requiring publication of the number of complaints made against a police agency, and creation of a list of officers decertified in Delaware for the past ten years.
Pinkney says more work is needed next year.
“We should look at the Law Enforcement Accountability Task Force who put out a slew of recommendations and we haven’t even touched half of them yet,” Pinkney said. “And we’ve still got work on LEOBOR to do that. I'm looking forward to getting taken care of alongside Sen. Elizabeth Lockman as soon as we get back next year.”
Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.