As police-led shootings and misuses of force have trending upward, communities of color are disproportionately impacted. Increases in police use of force can be traced to multiple causes, one likely source is the fact that officers have a job that is physically, mentally, and emotionally strenuous, yet they often lack the necessary support to care for their mental health. Consistent stress without appropriate treatment can lead to poor decision making. Another cause is the failure of police departments to provide the records of officers fired for misconduct to other departments, allowing them to be hired elsewhere.
Pennsylvania Representative Jordan Harris joined colleagues to champion two police reform proposals to address these serious issues, which passed the PA House unanimously as part of a police reform package in June 2020 and signed into law in July 2020. The bills require officers to be evaluated for PTSD following a lethal use-of-force event, and create a database to track police misconduct to facilitate communication between departments and keep unethical officers from being rehired elsewhere.