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house Bill H.R. 2302

Should the Feds Incentivize Sensitivity Training for State Police Departments?

Argument in favor

The federal government has an obligation to ensure that state law enforcement agencies put their officers and cadets through sensitivity training, and that special prosecutors are appointed to investigate police officers. Making grant funding conditional on putting these changes into effect will increase compliance by states and cities that need funding.

Steven's Opinion
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02/11/2016
I plan on a career in law enforcement and I would have no problem attending sensitivity training. Or wearing a body camera for that matter. So, why not?
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Elisabeth's Opinion
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02/12/2016
Police need to understand the communities they protect and serve
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Mike's Opinion
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02/13/2016
Sensitivity training is needed,the only way you lose funding is if you don't comply,with that pressure of losing needed funding things should turn around,there is a true and obvious disconnect between officers and the communities they serve,so sensitivity training is a must as whatever systems in place now aren't working.
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Argument opposed

Requiring states to appoint an independent prosecutor for investigations involving police officers or requiring cops to undergo sensitivity training will not significantly improve relations between law enforcement and their communities. Reducing the amount of grant funding that goes to state and local governments will have a negative impact on public.

LibertyForAll's Opinion
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02/12/2016
The first word in the job title, "State", would lead a (law abiding) politician to the 10th amendment. Which in this case gives the State the supreme authority, not the Federal Government.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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02/13/2016
The federal government should never play to the whim of Social Justice Warriors. This won't change anything, besides pull us closer to the brink of insanity as a country.
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operaman's Opinion
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02/12/2016
Three key words; Feds, state and cops. Feds should take care of their business. Enough of this PC hugs debate.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedMay 13th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 2302?

This bill would require states receiving federal funds from specific grant programs to mandate that state law enforcement officers or cadets receive sensitivity training each fiscal year or risk losing federal assistance. States that fail to comply with these requirements could face a 20 percent reduction in the grant funding that otherwise would’ve been awarded. The sensitivity training must include instruction on ethnic and racial bias, cultural diversity, and police interaction with the disabled, mentally ill, and new immigrants.

The state must must certify to the Attorney General that these training sessions have been completed, although these requirements could be waived if compliance with this legislation would violate a state’s constitution.

The Attorney General would be also be directed to reduce federal funding by 20 percent to state or local governments that failed to enact or put into effect a requirement that an independent prosecutor be appointed under the following circumstances:

  • One or more of the possible defendants is a law enforcement officer;

  • One or more of the alleged offenses involves the law enforcement officer’s use of deadly force in the course of carrying out their duty;

  • The law enforcement officer’s use of deadly force resulted in death or injury.

The federal grant programs that would be affected by this legislation are the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program, the Local Government Law Enforcement Block Grants Program, and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.

Impact

Law enforcement officers and cadets who would undergo the sensitivity training and the members of the community who they would interact with; district attorneys and independent prosecutors; and the Attorney General.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2302

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced this legislation with the goal of improving relations between law enforcement and the communities they protect while reducing the number police brutality incidents against minorities:

“America received a sobering wakeup call last year in Ferguson, followed by others in Staten Island, Cleveland, North Charleston, and more recently in Baltimore. The need for reform is as clear as it is urgent. Officers need better training. Excessive force must end. Justice shouldn’t just depend on whether a bystander catches bad acts on video. Expecting local prosecutors to prosecute the same officers upon whom they rely to do their job presents a clear conflict of interest, and it is unnecessary.”

This legislation currently has the support of 62 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user diana_robinson)

AKA

Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2015

Official Title

To require that States receiving Byrne JAG funds to require sensitivity training for law enforcement officers of that State and to incentivize States to enact laws requiring the independent investigation and prosecution of the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

    I plan on a career in law enforcement and I would have no problem attending sensitivity training. Or wearing a body camera for that matter. So, why not?
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    The first word in the job title, "State", would lead a (law abiding) politician to the 10th amendment. Which in this case gives the State the supreme authority, not the Federal Government.
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    Police need to understand the communities they protect and serve
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    The federal government should never play to the whim of Social Justice Warriors. This won't change anything, besides pull us closer to the brink of insanity as a country.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Sensitivity training is needed,the only way you lose funding is if you don't comply,with that pressure of losing needed funding things should turn around,there is a true and obvious disconnect between officers and the communities they serve,so sensitivity training is a must as whatever systems in place now aren't working.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Three key words; Feds, state and cops. Feds should take care of their business. Enough of this PC hugs debate.
    Like (9)
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    Share
    They need more training with less aggressive reactions to non threatening situations.
    Like (7)
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    Definitely and include tactics for deescalating a situation as well
    Like (6)
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    Since law enforcement has not taken up reform on their own, there needs to be an incentive (other than pride in one's work or care of community) as well as a method of monitoring & enforcement.
    Like (6)
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    Sensitivity is the fall of mankind. How about training people to stand up for themselves? How about involving the police in more community friendly environments.
    Like (4)
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    We need to change the police culture nationwide.
    Like (3)
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    Every law enforcement agency's needs are different. The federal government should not be setting these standards; the state and local governments should. "One size fits all" never works. This is why we have a system of federalism in the United States.
    Like (3)
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    Absolutely they should, and it honestly surprises me they don't already. But then I think of the police violence that plagues so many communities of color and am not surprised at all.
    Like (3)
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    In light of police officers' police brutality especially aimed against Blacks and Latinos across the country, it is up to our government to help these communities, as well as any person, to not be targeted as such. We cannot condone the police's actions that have caused such a social justice uproar by the many Americans who want to see change. If police departments want federal funding, then they must represent the communities they serve, not brutalize them.
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    Because the funding should be conditional on whether the police are doing their jobs well and clearly many police need reeducated
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    For a superior police force, we need men and women that excel intelligently, emotionally, and physically. Cultural literacy and social skills will greatly benefit our police force in being the best people they can to protect the people and enforce the law.
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    I think it's a good idea, but how well can the Feds implement the sensitivity training? It should be up to the State to do the sensitivity training.
    Like (2)
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    Shouldn't those on the opposite side of the badge get the sensitivity training and show respect for the enforcers of the law.
    Like (2)
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    I think this is worth trying, but doubt it will lead to significant change.
    Like (2)
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    It's the right thing to do the police should have an understanding of the community in which they serve
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