STATE HOUSE – The special legislative task force to review and provide recommendations on policies pertaining to the Rhode Island Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) is scheduled to meet Wednesday.
The meeting will be held virtually at Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m. The meeting will include discussions of a state-by-state overview of LEOBOR statutes, a recent effort by the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association to collect information on LEOBOR-involved proceedings, and a proposed draft survey from the task force
The State House remains closed to the public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hearing will be live streamed at www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV and televised on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox on Channels 15 and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1061, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers.
The task force, led by Sen. Harold M. Metts, is to comprehensively study and provide recommendations on the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR), to ensure accountability and protection against misconduct. Adopted in Rhode Island in 1976, the LEOBOR protects officers accused of misconduct, preventing them from being immediately fired or put on leave without pay, and allowing their continued employment to be decided by a panel of other police officers.
The 13-member task force includes:
· Senator Metts
· Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence)
· Sen. Gordon E. Rogers (R-Dist. 21, Foster, Coventry, Scituate, West Greenwich)
· Attorney General Peter F. Neronha
· State Police Superintendent Col. James M. Manni
· Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh T. Clements Jr.
· Rhode Island Human Rights Commission Executive Director Michael Évora
· NAACP Providence Branch President James Vincent
· Anthony Capezza Jr., representing the Rhode Island AFL-CIO
· Latino Policy Institute Director Marcela Betancur
· Providence External Review Board Executive Director Jose F. Batista
· Rev. Howard M. Jenkins Jr.
· Rev. Chontell N. Washington
The resolution creating the task force calls for it to study protection of the rights of residents, conduct and accountability responsibilities, police relations with racial and ethnic minority communities, police management, disciplinary procedures, enhanced training for cultural competency and mental health, and diversity in all law enforcement agencies. The task force is to report to the Senate by Feb. 9, 2021.