White to Reintroduce Legislation to Protect Police IDs
HARRISBURG—Rep. Martina White (R-170) vowed to reintroduce legislation to protect police officers and their families when the officer is involved in a discharge of his or her firearm or other use of force after the bill was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf today.
House Bill 1538
passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate earlier this year.
“I wish the governor had recognized the importance of protecting police officers and their families,” White said. “In these politically charged times, an officer’s identity should be withheld for at least 30 days in order to allow facts to come to light as to whether the officer should be charged with an offense or cleared, and any threats against the officers or their families have dissipated.”
House Bill 1538, which was supported by local Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 5 and the state FOP, would have delayed police departments from releasing the names of officers involved in violent confrontations while an investigation is ongoing. Public officials would have been able to release the identifications once 30 days have passed, criminal charges have been filed, or an investigation is completed sooner and the life of the officer and his or her family members are deemed no longer in danger.
“Shootings are increasingly political,” White said. “That places the lives of our officers and the lives of their family members in danger. While we need transparency whenever police are involved in a shooting, we owe our officers basic protection from threats. That’s why I will re-introduce the legislation in the 2017-18 session.”
Representative Martina White
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster