< Back to H.R. 3263 (104th Congress, 1995–1996)

Text of the Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Employment Registration Act of 1996

This bill was introduced on April 17, 1996, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 17, 1996 (Introduced).

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HR 3263 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3263

To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to establish a national clearinghouse to assist in background checks of law enforcement applicants.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 17, 1996

Mr. JOHNSTON of Florida (for himself, Mr. FROST, Ms. LOFGREN, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. THOMPSON, Mrs. THURMAN, Mrs. MEEK of Florida, Mr. SHAW, Mrs. MINK of Hawaii, Mr. CANADY of Florida, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. BRYANT of Texas, Ms. NORTON, and Mr. FRAZER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Judiciary


A BILL

To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to establish a national clearinghouse to assist in background checks of law enforcement applicants.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers Employment Registration Act of 1996’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--

      (1) law enforcement officials, including members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, recognize that violent crime represents the greatest threat to the safety and security of citizens and that dedicated, ethical law enforcement professionals, and lawful initiatives and participation by members of the community represent the best hope of responding to the challenges of violent crime;

      (2) the International Association of Chiefs of Police acknowledges that a few officers choose to violate the public trust by abusing their authority or by breaking the law and that such officers should not be permitted to seek police employment in another State or jurisdiction with the expectation that they will be able to conceal their history of misconduct;

      (3) there have been numerous documented cases of officers who have obtained officer employment and certification in a State after revocation of officer certification or dishonorable discharge in another State;

      (4) a national clearinghouse of officer employment histories would enable each criminal justice agency to conduct thorough background checks on officer applicants and to assure that only honest ethical officers are permitted to serve; and

      (5) Federal legislation is needed that would require Federal registration of employment termination data of law enforcement officers and correctional officers.

SEC. 3. REGISTRATION.

    Subpart 1 of part E of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3781 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘REGISTRATION OF EMPLOYMENT DATA OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS

    ‘SEC. 509a. (a)(1) The Governor of each State, or chief executive of each Territory of the United States, that receives funds under section 506 in a fiscal year shall designate an official or agency which shall submit to an officer or agency designated by the Attorney General of the United States, a list of all law enforcement and correctional officers who held such office in such State or territory on or since January 1, 1990, in accordance with paragraph (2). Such list shall be updated and supplemented by agencies or officials responsible for submission of employment data in accordance with subsection (b).

    ‘(2) Such list shall include the names (and any former names), dates of birth, social security numbers, Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint identification numbers if known, the dates of appointment as officers if known, the names and addresses or National Crime Information Center numbers of the appointing or employing agencies, and, if applicable, the dates such service ended for such officers.

    ‘(b) The agency or official responsible for submission of such employment data shall, not later than 90 days after an officer’s employment, appointment, or separation from employment or appointment, notify the agency or officer designated by the Attorney General of the United States to receive such employment data, that a law enforcement officer or correctional officer has been appointed or employed as an officer, or that a registered officer is no longer empowered or employed as such. If the former officer has had officer certification revoked for cause, that fact shall be reported.

    ‘(c) For purposes of this section--

      ‘(1) the term ‘law enforcement officer’ means an individual who is elected or appointed by a State or territory, or a political subdivision thereof, or by a Native American Indian tribe or band, to conserve the peace, or to make arrests or serve warrants, or to otherwise possess or exercise the authority of a peace officer in such State or territory; and

      ‘(2) the term ‘correctional officer’ means an individual who is elected or appointed by a State or territory, or a political subdivision thereof, to guard or supervise prisoners or inmates of jails or other detention, penal, or correctional facilities.

    A ‘law enforcement officer’ or ‘correctional officer’ includes an individual whether compensated for services or not, whether full- or part-time, and whether appointment, election, or term of office is temporary or permanent. Such terms do not include citizens who are called to assist an officer in the performance of the officer’s duties unless such citizen received a deputation or commission of appointment lasting longer than 30 days.

    ‘(d)(1) As a condition of employment, each State, territory, or political subdivision thereof, that employs law enforcement officers or correctional officers shall require all applicants for appointment to or employment in such positions before beginning employment--

      ‘(A) to disclose all prior service or employment as a law enforcement or correctional officer; and

      ‘(B) to submit a written authorization and request for release of information, on a form prescribed by the Attorney General or designee.

    ‘(2) When a prospective law enforcement or correctional employer obtains an officer’s required written authorization and request for release of information, the Attorney General (or designee) is directed to release all data collected under subsections (a) and (b) of this section to such prospective employer.

    ‘(3) Upon receipt of a completed written authorization and request for release of information and not later than 30 days after such officer is first appointed or employed or at any time prior to the appointment or employment of an applicant, each State, territory, and political subdivision thereof shall notify the Attorney General (or designee).

    ‘(e) The Attorney General shall issue regulations for the implementation of this section and the operation of the employment data clearinghouse.

    ‘(f) Agencies or agency administrators who submit employment or officer certification data pursuant to this section are presumed to be acting in good faith and, unless lack of good faith is shown by clear and convincing evidence, are immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences. The presumption of good faith is rebutted upon a showing that the data was submitted with knowledge of its falsity or was submitted with the malicious intent to deliberately mislead.’.

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- This Act shall take effect on January 1, 1997.

    (b) INFORMATION COMPLIANCE- Lists required under section 509a(a) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 shall be submitted not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act.

    (c) STATE COMPLIANCE- Beginning not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, each State, territory, or political subdivision thereof, shall comply with the requirements described in subsection (d) of section 509a of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

SEC. 5. REPORTS.

    Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General, upon consultation with the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, shall submit a report to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate evaluating the compliance of the States with the requirements of section 509a of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and listing each State that has failed materially to comply with the requirements of this section. Such subsequent reports shall be presented as are deemed appropriate by the Attorney General.