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Governor Hogan To Sign Public Safety, Law Enforcement, Community Relations, And Tort Bills Into Law

Bills To Become Law At Next Signing Ceremony

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he will sign into law nine bills related to public safety, law enforcement policy, community relations, and easing liability limits for civil claims. He will sign the bills into law at the next bill signing ceremony, to be held Tuesday, April 28.

“These bills directly address public safety and community relations issues, including the day-to-day operations of our law enforcement officials,” said Governor Hogan. “Ensuring the safety of our citizens will always be a priority of our administration, and I am proud to sign these bills into law.”

The bills include:

SB 321: The Baltimore City and Baltimore County – Police Behavioral Health Units – Pilot Program, which would require the Baltimore City Police Department and the Baltimore County Police to each establish a behavioral unit of at least six officers who are specially trained to understand the needs of individuals with mental health or substance abuse disorders.

SB 482 / HB 533: The Public Safety – Law Enforcement Officers – Body-Worn Digital Recording Device and Electronic Control Device, emergency bills that would make it lawful for a law enforcement officer to intercept an oral communication with a “body-worn digital recording device” or an “electronic control device.” These bills would also establish the Commission Regarding the Implementation and Use of Body Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers to study and make recommendations to the Police Training Commission and the General Assembly.

SB 882: Baltimore City Civilian Review Board, which would alter the definition of “law enforcement unit” as it relates to the Baltimore City Civilian Review Board so as to increase the number of law enforcement units that are subject to review by the Board.

HB 954: Public Safety – Deaths Involving a Law Enforcement Officer – Reports, which would require law enforcement agencies to provide the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention with information about deaths of individuals in police custody, as well as deaths of officers occurring in the line of duty.

SB 413: Vehicle Laws – Race-Based Traffic Stops – Policy and Reporting Requirements, which would require law enforcement officers to record demographic information, including race, pertaining to traffic stops.

HB 771: Baltimore Police Department – Reporting on Community Policing, which would require that a report be submitted annually to the Baltimore City legislative delegation, Baltimore City Mayor, and City Council with information on the diversity of the police force, as well as encounters with officers, including those resulting in civilian injuries, and number of officers suspended.

HB 113: Increasing Limits on Local Government Tort Claims Act, which increases the liability limits for a civil claim against a local government to $400,000. This cap was last raised 28 years ago in 1987.

HB 114: Increasing Limits on State Government Tort Claims Act, which increases the liability limits for a civil claim against state government to $800,000. This cap was last raised 16 years ago in 1999.


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