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NC Sheriffs’ ‘Law Enforcement Professionalism’ Plan

The association representing North Carolina’s 100 sheriffs wants to expand training, provide regular mental health screenings for deputies and close loopholes that could make it difficult to move those involved in on-the-job misconduct out of law enforcement, reports the Associated Press. The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association released a report on “law enforcement professionalism” developed by a dozen sheriffs after the death of George Floyd and demonstrations against racial injustice.

The recommendations “are in an effort to create a law enforcement profession that will not tolerate racism and excessive force by law enforcement, and that will hold North Carolina law enforcement to a high standard,” says the report. It urges all law enforcement agencies to set policies barring the use of chokeholds except in narrow, threatening situations. The sheriffs also want state legislation requiring a model policy on the use of force that must be approved by the association and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police. It recommends no changes to current policies on school resource officers, the law directing how police body-worn camera footage is released and qualified immunity for officers in civil lawsuits challenging their conduct. The sheriffs want to prevent situations where law enforcement officers who commit misconduct and quietly resign are hired by another agency that isn’t aware of those past deeds. They want a law mandating an applicant’s former agency to release personnel records and internal investigative files to the department seeking new officers.