February 2, 2021

Major Police Reform Bill Unanimously Passes Indiana House

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The House police reform bill was crafted over the last year following protests around the country against police misconduct and racial inequity. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The House police reform bill was crafted over the last year following protests around the country against police misconduct and racial inequity.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana House unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that will hold police more accountable and significantly improve their training.

The measure was crafted over the last year following protests around the country against police misconduct and for racial inequity.

Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), the bill’s author, said all police will now have to undergo de-escalation training. The legislation also includes $70 million to improve facilities at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, which trains a majority of police across the state.

“Everything begins with training," Steuerwald said. "The best training we can have will produce the best officers.”

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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The measure makes it easier for the state to de-certify police who commit misconduct, even if the officer isn’t criminally charged. Indiana Black Legislative Caucus Chair Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) said de-certification means they can’t work as police anymore.

“This legislation will also hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions and prevent bad officers from bouncing from agency to agency,” Shackleford said.

The legislation also treats chokeholds like using a gun, only authorizing police to use them when deadly force is warranted.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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