Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police Darrell Basco served on the Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force. President Basco was the only person on the task force representing rank and file law enforcement officers in Louisiana — our members.
This task force was created by Louisiana Legislators following George Floyd’s death in Minnesota. It is important to remember that these are only recommendations by the task force. The individual recommendations from the task force will have to be considered again to be made part of any legislation. The following was written by President Basco. The Louisiana FOP’s website can be found by clicking here.
The Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force culminated on Thursday, January 14th.
During the Extraordinary session of 2020, Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 passed the Legislature and created the Police Training, Screening, and De-Escalation Task Force. The Task Force was composed of over 20 members, with the Louisiana Fraternal Order of Police being the only rank-and-file police organization represented on the Task Force.
The Task Force was divided into Subcommittees to discuss issues and hear testimony from the public and subject matter experts about contemporary issues between the public and law enforcement. Subcommittees were assigned specific issues such as Community Relations, Internal Operations, and Policy & Oversight.
Subcommittees reported their findings with recommendations to the full Task Force.
At the culmination, the full Task Force heard 22 recommendations and accepted all, but one of them. All recommendations were amended from their original language to the language that will be filed in the 2021 Regular Legislative Session.
Please keep in mind that these are recommendations, that will translate into individual legislation introduced in the 2021 Legislative Session. All pieces of future legislation will be debated in committees and in both chambers proceeding through the regular legislative process.
Here is a brief overview of the recommendations.
Changes the time frame from 30 to 14 days that an officer has to get an attorney for representation during an internal investigation, unless the officer is incapacitated or in medical facility.
Initially drafted to require polygraphs on all internal investigation. Language was amended to a future study resolution by a joint committee of the House Committee on Judiciary and Senate Judiciary B.
Changed the 60 day requirement to complete an investigation to 75 days and to be inclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
Resolution urging the State Police Commission, which acts as the Civil Service system for commissioned employees of the Department of Public Safety, to adopt policies similar to those listed in the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.
Recommendation was that an officer would be prohibited from viewing camera footage before being interviewed as part of an administrative investigation. This recommendation was voted to not be recommended by the Task Force.
Recommended that only sustained complaints will remain in an officers file for 10 years.
Included in the language for Recommendation # 12
Places a ban on choke holds under certain circumstances. They would be prohibited unless the officer is in fear of great bodily harm or death of themselves or another.
Adds language to Title 9 under immunity that states:
“No element of qualified immunity shall be available to law enforcement officers as a defense to liability for claims brought under state law for wrongful death, physical injury, or personal injury inflicted by law enforcement officers through any use of physical force in a manner determined by a finder of fact in a judicial proceeding to be unreasonable.”
Addition to the malfeasance statute:
“If the individual is a full-time or part-time or reserve peace officer, knowingly or with reckless disregard either refuses or fails to perform any duty lawfully required of him as a peace officer”
No knock warrants. Language to be added to the statute that follows best practices of executing no knock search warrants. Officers must have approval for no knock warrants from the judge that establishes probable cause that exigent circumstances, such as protecting life and limb. The officer must knock and use a clear announcement and be in uniform. The announcement must be reasonable that the occupants would have heard the announcement.
P.O.S.T. will implement a training program for all officers that include anti bias training with topics that include procedural justice, cultural diversity, community relations, and peer intervention.
That P.O.S.T. training curriculum implemented in Recommendation #12 will occur by January 1, 2022. Training developed will be in person or online.
If a police unit is equipped with a dash camera and the camera has the technology to be activated upon lights/siren activation then the agency shall utilize the technology.
No later than January 1, 2022 any agency with body worn cameras shall have a policy that outlines the activation and deactivation of the body worn camera.
Became Recommendation #21.
All government entities that employ peace officers shall develop a policy to recruit minority candidates.
Requires federally established Giglio reporting by agencies to prosecutors.
Pulled from consideration
Law enforcement agencies are required to provide P.O.S.T. within 45 days of employment status of law enforcement personnel. Failure to do so will result in a $500 fine.
Agencies will have to be certified and have at least 3 certified officers within their department to investigate an officer involved shooting. The certification and training will be developed by P.O.S.T..
Allows P.O.S.T. to develop and implement policies and procedures to suspend or revoke certification for misconduct.
As this progresses in the 2021 Legislative session the Louisiana FOP will keep the membership informed of updates/changes in the legislation.
Darrell B. Basco
LA FOP State President