Gov. Wolf Announces Policing Reform for Pennsylvania

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent protests all over the United States have forced the entire nation to grapple with policies related to race and policing. In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf recently announced massive reforms that he would like the state's police departments to make, based on the reforms suggested by the 21st Century Policing Task Force, which was created in 2015 under the Obama administration.

Immediately, organizations that represent law enforcement officers in the state pushed back. The State Police Troopers Association responded to the governor's announcement saying that though what happened to George Floyd was “horrific and wrong” it wasn't fair to assume that Pennsylvania's troopers were no better than the officers charged in Floyd's death.

The Association continued, saying, “So, here is a message to the people of Pennsylvania: Troopers go to work every day knowing they may not return home to our loved ones. This is a sacrifice we accept because we have sworn an oath to uphold the laws of the commonwealth and the United States, without any consideration of class, color, creed, or condition. We live by this oath and are dedicated to protecting you, our fellow citizens, and the rule of law. And that will never change.”

Likewise, the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association President Larry Blackwell issued a statement saying that corrections officers are already subject to a strict disciplinary system.

“While the Governor moves forward in his attempts at policing reforms, we must remember the outstanding law enforcement officers throughout the commonwealth who risk their lives each day to keep Pennsylvania's families safe and, equally important, the victims of crime,” Blackwell's statement read.

Wolf said he is also directing all law enforcement academies across the state to review their training, especially for the use of force. Additionally, he will help all Pennsylvania municipalities to create citizens' police advisory boards, in addition to the state level one he is planning.

“We must rise to the challenge because too many people have lost faith in our public safety institutions and in our institutions in general, Wolf said. “We must double our efforts to earn the trust of everyone we serve.”

Some of Wolf's other recommendations include:

· Enhancing current mental health initiatives and mental health supports for officers to deal with trauma and reduce stigma for getting help.

· Creating a position for a Deputy Inspector General to work in the Pennsylvania Office of State Inspector General focused on deterring, detecting, preventing, and eradicating fraud, waste, misconduct, and abuse amongst law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania.

· Creating a Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Advisory Commission that reviews allegations of misconduct by law enforcement personnel under the governor's jurisdiction.

· Creating a Racial and Ethnic Disparities Subcommittee under the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee.

· Working with the legislature to pass laws that improve access to police videos; create an oversight board for officer training and continuing education; appoint a special prosecutor in deadly force cases; and reform interdepartmental law enforcement hiring policies.

Our Criminal Law Team and the LLF Law Firm are determined to fight for your rights under the law. If you have been arrested and need representation, call our offices today at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.