(April 16) – The House gave voice-vote approval this morning to two more components of a bipartisan package of legislation to rebuild trust between law enforcement agencies and the Colorado communities they serve.
HB15-1285, sponsored by Reps. Daniel Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, and Angela Williams, D-Denver, will create a grant fund to expand a program already being tested in some Colorado law enforcement agencies — body cameras worn by officers.
Body cams create a video record of the situations encountered by law enforcement officers and can provide valuable evidence when allegations of police misconduct are made.
“Body cams will help to exonerate the many police officers who do their difficult jobs well — and to hold accountable the few who do not,” Rep. Kagan said. “Likewise, they will assist in the prosecution of those accused of violating lawful police orders. They will open another window of transparency on interactions between the public and law enforcement.”
HB15-1287, sponsored by Rep. Williams, adds four non-law enforcement members to the state Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, which manages the training and certification of all officers working for Colorado law enforcement agencies.
It also requires the POST board to include a two-hour anti-bias course, a two-hour community policing course and a two-hour de-escalation course in police officers’ regular in-service training, and to develop a community outreach program and a recruitment program that creates a diversified applicant pool.
“Adding diversity to the POST board will improve police training and increase public confidence,” Rep. Williams said.
Both bills will get a recorded vote in the House before heading over to the Senate.