Senate Unanimously Passes Police Decertification Bill

The Senate showed overwhelming support Thursday for a KLC initiative that will help police departments remove troubled officers. Senator Danny Carroll (R-Paducah) sponsored Senate Bill 80. Several senators speaking in support of the bill remarked on Carroll’s law enforcement background and thanked him for seeking common sense reforms.

Senate Bill 80 strengthens the police decertification law KLC championed in the 2019 session. That legislation created a process for the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to revoke a police officer’s certification to ensure troubled officers do not move from one department to another without anyone being aware of their problems.

Under Senate Bill 80, an officer’s certification would be immediately revoked for the following reasons:

  • Conviction to any state or federal felony or any criminal offense committed in another state that would constitute a felony in Kentucky.
  • Willful falsification of information to obtain or maintain certification.

The measure expands the number of acts considered professional wrongdoing to include unjustified use of excessive or deadly force, interference of the fair administration of justice, and engagement in a sexual relationship with a victim, witness, defendant or informant in a criminal investigation. The bill also requires an officer to intervene when another officer engages in unlawful and unjustified excessive or deadly force, and it prevents an officer from skirting decertification by resigning or retiring before an internal investigation is complete.

Carroll retired from the Paducah Police Department where he served for several years as assistant police chief. Speaking on the Senate floor, Carroll reminded members that good police officers are the sharpest critics of bad officers. “Let law enforcement be a part of reform,” he said. “The change has got to happen at the core.”

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, Kentucky Law Enforcement Council and Kentucky Sheriff’s Association support Senate Bill 80.

The Senate passed the measure 28-0. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.