Law enforcement is a vital part of a productive and peaceful society. However, many people have expressed concerns over the use of excessive force by police officers in recent years. Although the issue of police brutality has been a fiercely discussed topic for decades, events that have occurred in the past several years have made the issue more relevant than ever. In an effort to increase police accountability and prevent the misuse of police authority, Connecticut House Bill 6004 was passed in 2020. Many of the elements of the new law have already gone into effect; however, some provisions only went into effect as of January 1, 2021. If you or a loved one has been affected by police brutality or was accused of a crime, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help.
Police Held to High Standards Regarding Equality and Use of Force
In response to concerns about police actions across the country, Connecticut has passed a massive police accountability law addressing many key issues. One component of the law that recently went into effect is a requirement regarding police badges and name tags. Police officers are now required to attach their name tags and badges to the outermost layer of their uniform unless they are in an undercover operation. Other elements that recently went into effect require police officers to serve minority communities and report the steps taken to recruit diverse police officers.
Mandatory Mental Health Assessments
Another major component of the new law that went into effect the first of this year is the mental health evaluation requirement. As a condition of employment or continued employment, officers will be required to undergo a behavioral health assessment conducted by a certified psychiatrist or psychologist with experience treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Officers must undergo the assessment every five years at a minimum. The new law also gives the police chief the authority to require additional mental health evaluations if necessary....