STATE DEFINES UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

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By Bob Katzen

The House 44-115, rejected an amendment to a section of the bill which provides for the de-certification of a police officer for, among other offenses, “unprofessional police conduct.” The amendment would define “unprofessional police conduct” as “on-duty behavior by a law enforcement officer which is established by probable cause to be a violation of state and/or federal law, excessive use of physical force or repeated, sustained instances of behaviors which violate departmental policies or bring the law enforcement agency into disrepute.”

“This term is not defined anywhere in the bill and [my amendment] sought to specifically define what it is, rather than allowing another body to later have to divine our legislative intent,” said the amendment’s sponsor Rep. Tim Whelan (R-Brewster), a former Massachusetts state trooper.

Opponents said the amendment would limit the scope and authority of the independent commission the bill sets up. They argued the commission should be allowed to do its work without its hand tied by the Legislature.

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