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Brewster’s Police Training Legislation Approved in House, Senate; Awaits Gov. Signature
On October 17, 2018
Harrisburg – October 17, 2018 – Legislation designed to improve police training by altering the composition of the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission has cleared legislative hurdles in both the state House of Representatives and Senate and is headed to the governor for his signature, said the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland).
“Improving police training is an ongoing process,” Brewster said. “The Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission is a critical component of training police officers and it should have a full complement of members so that additional viewpoints and suggestions can be considered.”
Brewster’s legislation (Senate Bill 403), would remove the seat on the commission that is designated for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI’s seat on the commission would be filled by an appointee designated by the Pennsylvania Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The FBI has not appointed a representative to the commission since 2007. The federal Department of Justice has advised against appointing a member due to its supervisory role related to local police.
“There are so many issues that are involved in police training,” Brewster said. “Our state training protocols need to be constantly refreshed and having another voice on the commission will add a new perspective.”
Brewster has long been involved in improving police training. He formerly served as mayor of McKeesport and was a long-time member of council.
“Our police officers are incredible public servants who make sacrifices to protect individuals and property,” Brewster said. “We must ensure that local police have the best training available, so they can deal with every situation.”
The bill is expected to be signed into law by the governor.