Deputy Speaker Hull introduces LEOBOR reform bill


            STATE HOUSE – Deputy Speaker Raymond A. Hull has introduced the Law Enforcement Officers’ Due Process, Accountability and Transparency Act (2024-H 7263) which will bring significant and long-overdue reforms to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR).

            Deputy Speaker Hull is currently the commanding officer of the Housing Unit in the Providence Police Department, where he has served for 35 years.

            “Reform to LEOBOR has been a long time coming and this legislation will not only deliver transparency and accountability to the public, but it will also help police departments across the state root out misconduct in a fair and just way.  When facing the polarization and cynicism that is currently plaguing our society, trust in law enforcement is even more crucial to preserve public safety and I believe this bill can restore that trust between the officers who selflessly protect all of us and the people that they serve,” said Deputy Speaker Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence).

            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 three-person panel of other police officers.

            The legislation would establish a five-member hearing committee consisting of three qualified and randomly selected law enforcement officers, a retired judge, and an attorney selected in consultation with the Supreme Court's Committee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness and the Rhode Island Bar Association's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. It would establish a two-tier summary suspension structure ranging from a five to 14-day summary suspension and allow a police chief to make public statements and release video evidence in any instance other than summary suspensions imposed under tier one for minor infractions.

This act would take effect on Jan. 1, 2025, and it has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.