James Maroney


James Maroney



July 29, 2020

Senator Maroney Votes for Police Policy Reform Bill

Today, State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) joined the Senate Democratic Caucus as it proudly led the passage of legislation on the Senate Floor that will increase accountability for police officers statewide. In recent years, Senate Democrats have championed the passing of similar legislation, and these latest changes come as they heard the cries of protestors nationwide as a movement erupted in May 2020 in wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among countless others, by police and law enforcement.

“It was a difficult vote but after talking it over with my son and Senator Gayle Slossberg, I know I am making the right decision,” said Sen. Maroney. “A lot of the bill everyone can agree with, but a lot of the bill still is questionable, but much has been improved thanks to Senator Winfield. I appreciate the time he took to make changes to some requests that I made and I look forward to continuing to improve the bill. A great piece of advice I received when making my decision was don’t let perfect get in the way of good. And this bill is good.”

This legislation is designed to provide additional accountability for police departments across the state to improve public interaction and to ensure officers are held responsible if they act in an unacceptable manner. It takes significant steps to overhaul current practices, including the following:

  • POST will issue an annual report on Connecticut police departments’ efforts to recruit minority officers. It will also develop new crowd control policies, require implicit bias training and ensure officers’ disciplinary records are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • Officers will need to become POST certified, including receiving periodic mental health screenings at a police chief’s discretion, happening at least every five years and when an officer changes departments.
  • Uniformed officers must have names and badge numbers readily visible on outer garments.
  • POST will be able to hold hearings and potentially suspend, censor or decertify officers, making determinations if an officer undermines public confidence in law enforcement or uses excessive or unjustifiable force.
  • Cities and towns will be able to create civilian review boards, which will have subpoena power through local legislative bodies.
  • Police departments will review a potential need for more social worker-based responses.
  • Body and dashboard cameras will be mandatory for any officer interacting with the public, with the mandate including funding for storage.
  • Quotas, already banned for traffic stops, will be extended to pedestrian stops.
  • Vehicle searches cannot occur without probably cause.
  • Officers will only be able to use force when they have exhausted other resources, there is no risk of injury to a third party and such force is necessary.
  • Chokeholds, strangleholds and other tactics restraining oxygen and blood flow will be banned.
  • Officers must report excessive use of force, with whistleblower protections provided.
  • There will be an Independent Office of the Inspector General to conduct use of force investigations.
  • Penalties for false reports to police based on race, gender, nationality or sexuality will be increased.
  • The Police Transparency and Accountability Task Force will focus on increasing minority officer recruitment, whether officers should carry professional liability insurance and whether no-knock warrants should be banned.