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Wed Dec 30, 2020, 01:31 AM

RI Senate task force recommends granting police chiefs more leeway in disciplining officers

The Rhode Island Senate task force charged with reviewing the Rhode Island Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights on Wednesday finalized recommended changes to the law, which include altering the composition of disciplinary hearing panels, authorizing police chiefs to comment on investigations, and increasing public access to police personnel records.

“There was a balance during our deliberations whether to keep LEOBOR as is, to abolish it in its entirety, or to reform it. And the consensus reached was for reform,” said Sen. Harold Metts (D-Providence), who led the task force.

Under the state’s existing Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, which has been criticized as being overly restrictive, police chiefs can suspend officers for two days without pay before the officer has the right to request a hearing. Legislation introduced this year by Rep. Anastasia Williams (D-Providence) would extend that summary judgement period up to 30 days.

The commission considered and ultimately rejected the possibility of a 30-day suspension period. The group struck a middle ground, recommending that police chiefs be allowed to suspend officers without pay for 14 days.

Read more: https://thepublicsradio.org/article/ri-senate-task-force-recommends-granting-police-chiefs-more-leeway-in-disciplining-officers

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