Introducing a new law to increase accountability for law enforcement officers

A new law in Mississippi aims to increase the accountability of law enforcement officers.

Governor Tate Reeves recently signed into law the legislation that had been passed in the House and Senate.

The Rankin County Goon Squad served as the inspiration behind its creation.

Last year, six former Rankin County law enforcement officers pleaded guilty to physically and sexually assaulting two African American men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker.

The new law serves as a means to monitor and regulate the actions of the police.

The oversight of officers is strengthened, and stricter consequences are imposed for misconduct.

Representative Fred Shanks, who represents District 60, expressed his enthusiasm for the recent legislative victory in Mississippi, stating, “It was a home run for the House, it was a home run for the legislature, and will be a home run for law enforcement all over the state of Mississippi.”

Shanks expressed his pride in knowing that the governor had signed into law a piece of legislation that he had contributed to writing.

According to Shanks, implementing this approach will result in a more skilled and effective police officer, a more efficient department, and an overall improved outcome.

The new law enhances accountability in law enforcement and empowers the State Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training to take greater responsibility in addressing officer misconduct. Previously, the board’s authority was limited to simply accepting complaints.

Under this new law, the board has been granted the authority to address and examine any complaints or accusations that may arise.

“The state lawmaker explained that the board will be granted investigative authority, and sufficient funds have been allocated to hire two investigators who will be tasked with looking into instances of misconduct.”

If an officer is found guilty of misconduct, the board has the authority to revoke their certificate.

Shanks explained that without the certificate, law enforcement officers would no longer be able to hold their position.

The new board will consist of 13 members.

The governor has the authority to appoint six individuals who will play crucial roles in law enforcement. These include two police chiefs, two sheriffs, a district attorney, and the director of the MS Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy.

The remaining seven members consist of the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General, the Director of Highway Patrol, the Public Safety Commissioner, the President of the Chiefs of the Police Association, the President of the Constable Association, the President of Campus Law Enforcement, and the President of the Sheriffs’ Association (or their designees).

Commissioner Sean Tindell, from the Department of Public Safety, enthusiastically stated that the board is composed of Public Safety Officials, setting it apart from other individuals from various sectors.

All officers are now required to undergo mandatory training as per the new law.

The training would encompass a range of skills and techniques, covering everything from firearm training to de-escalation techniques.

Deputies, sheriffs, and state law enforcement officials would be required to undergo annual training, just like police officers. Failure to complete this training could result in the loss of their certifications.

The board will need to present its findings to the legislature and the governor on an annual basis.

According to Tindell, police departments have always been required to undergo continuing education. However, sheriff’s departments and state law enforcement were previously exempt from this requirement. Tindell believes that it is important for all law enforcement agencies in the state to now participate in continuing education.

The bill has been signed into law by the governor, and it will take effect on July 1st.

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MBS Staff
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