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Policy Library

Save Lives and Protect Communities by Preventing the Rehiring of Police Officers with Records of Misconduct

All too often, when police officers found to have abused their position or mistreated the public are forced out of one department, they are rehired by another one. By preventing police departments from hiring officers who were previously fired or resigned while being investigated for serious misconduct or excessive force, the Public Safety Through Hiring Act will save lives, improve public safety and reduce police wrongdoing.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

Connecticut, Virginia

Introduced in:

Kansas, Pennsylvania, New York
Even if a state has enacted a policy, there may be aspects to be strengthened. We can help identify ways to improve lives in your state. Please reach out to our State Line: 1-833-STATES-1.

In The News

“[E]xperts say thousands of law enforcement officers may have drifted from police department to police department even after having been fired, forced to resign or convicted of a crime.”
“[One study found that] an average of roughly 1,100 officers working in Florida each year have previously been fired. They tended to move to agencies with fewer resources and slightly larger communities of color. The fired officers were also twice as likely to be fired a second time compared to officers who have never been fired.”
“[P]olice chiefs have booted hundreds of officers they have deemed unfit to be in their ranks, only to be compelled to take them back and return them to the streets with guns and badges.”
“Nearly 200 had been rejected from other agencies because of past misdeeds, failed entrance exams or other issues. Several of those with past misconduct have been accused of wrongdoing since joining the department, including one deputy who was terminated after firing his service weapon during a dispute outside a fast-food restaurant.”


  • Police reform advocates
  • Racial justice advocates
  • Localities that want to improve policing


  • Police departments that depend on a pipeline of officers with records of misconduct
  • Those working to excuse police misconduct and excessive force
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The State Line


Who does this help?
This bill helps everyone by reducing the number of lawbreakers on police forces, and increasing the incentive for all members of police forces not to commit misconduct.
Is this high cost for the state government?
No. This law would be incorporated into existing hiring practices, and would save money over time by reducing the myriad costs that emanate from police misconduct.

Model Policy

This act shall be known as the Public Safety Through Hiring Act.

To prevent the hiring of police officers with disciplinary records in order to address police brutality.


(a) No law enforcement unit shall hire any person as a police officer who was previously employed as a police officer by any unit or in any other jurisdiction and who:
(i) was fired due to past or ongoing disciplinary infractions or during the process of misconduct investigations, or
(ii) resigned or retired due to past or ongoing disciplinary infractions, or during the process of misconduct investigations.
(b) Any law enforcement unit that has knowledge that any former police officer of such unit who (1) (A) was dismissed for malfeasance or other serious misconduct, or (B) resigned or retired from such officer's position while under investigation for such malfeasance or other serious misconduct; and (2) is an applicant for the position of police officer with any other law enforcement unit, shall inform such other unit of such dismissal, resignation or retirement.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any police officer who is exonerated of each allegation against such officer of such malfeasance or other serious misconduct in the disciplinary process undertaken in the law enforcement unit in which the police officer served at the time of the allegation.