2021 Bills

SB 196: Law Enforcement Vetting in Hiring

To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker. Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or click here to email your Senator and Representative about it.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it aligns with our principles and should therefore be passed into law.

When a law enforcement agency is interested in a new potential officer for hire, they need to be able to vet the individual with proper background checks — especially if they worked at another agency. Part of this process would require the agency to call the individual’s former employer to get any essential information from them to ensure they aren’t hiring a rogue officer who was forced out of their prior agency due to misconduct. But there’s a problem with this process: the former employer could sue the agency for what they disclose.

Senator Jani Iwamoto is aiming to solve this by sponsoring Senate Bill 196. The bill “provides immunity for information provided by authorized officers of law enforcement agencies to prospective employers or training academies.” This means that they will not be held liable for information they provide if the former employee turns around and decides to sue them for something they said.

This is an important bill in ensuring law enforcement can fully investigate their potential future employees before hiring them. It’s not only a public safety issue but one that will uphold the integrity of our law enforcement institutions to make sure they are only hiring good men and women.