HARRISBURG—Legislation sponsored by Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) to protect the identities of police officers and their families when the officer is involved in a shooting has unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee.
Supported by local FOP Lodge 5 and the state FOP, among other law enforcement organizations, House Bill 1538
would bar police departments from releasing the names of officers involved in violent confrontations while an investigation is ongoing. Public officials would be able to release the identifications once the investigation is complete, criminal charges have been filed, and the life of the officer and his or her family members are deemed not to be in danger.
“As we’ve seen throughout the country, police shootings involving police officers have become so politically charged that the officers’ lives and their families can be endangered even if the use of force was justified.” White said. “We need to balance transparency with some basic protections for our law enforcement officers. This is one way to help protect them from unnecessary threats and allow the facts to come out so the good cops aren’t tried by the public and the bad ones are tried by the courts.”
The legislation now moves to the whole House for a vote.
Representative Martina White
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster