A first step towards police reform

The Delaware Center for Justice (DCJ) supports HS 1 for House Bill 205 and House Bill 206 as a small first step in the right direction to increasing police transparency and accountability. With that being said, we fully acknowledge that HS 1 for HB 205 and HB 206 do not address all the communities’ concerns about the Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) and with policing in general, and for that we empathize with the families affected by the shortcomings of this legislation. It was clear after numerous conversations with lawmakers that this legislation has the support needed to pass and therefore, we must focus on moving forward.

To that end, we plan to advocate for a statewide police file retention policy and additional access to records not included in these bills. We will also fight for community appointments to the Council on Police Training (COPT), as well as the establishment of robust Civilian Review Boards (CRBs) to ensure that the community is centered in the response to police misconduct.

We urge members of the General Assembly to view HS 1 for HB 205 and HB 206 as a starting point to police reform, and therefore, the work must not end here. The Delaware Center for Justice looks forward to implementation, analyzing the data, and working with legislators on future police reform efforts.

In solidarity,

Dave Bever

Executive Director

Delaware Center for Justice