Senate OKs bill on release of officers’ names

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Senate has given its approval to legislation that would create rules for when police officers can be identified while they are being investigated for firing a weapon or using force that results in death or serious injury.

The bill passed the Senate 39-9.

Opponents warned that the lack of transparency wouldn’t make communities or police any safer, or foster trust between the two. However, proponents say police unions are endorsing the bill and that it will protect police officers who may be innocent of any wrongdoing.

The proposal mandates release of the officer’s name if he or she is charged with a crime.

If an investigation doesn’t produce charges, an officer’s name can be released under court order, with the officer’s consent or if doing so wouldn’t be expected to create a risk of harm to the officer or their family.

The bill passed the House last year, but the Senate made changes to it, meaning it must go back to the House.

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