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New police standards law in effect

SC Criminal Justice Academy

Law enforcement across the country has seen significant changes recently stemming from the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, MN at the hands of police on May 25, 2020.

A jury later convicted an officer in the death of George Floyd, and the event triggered nationwide calls for police reform.

To date over 30 states including South Carolina have enacted laws creating stronger police standards regarding the use of force by officers. Also, South Carolina’s new law now requires that not only every officer be certified through the state Criminal Justice Academy, but that every police department be certified as well.

The new law will require each police department that is not already accredited to be evaluated at least once every three years by the state’s Law Enforcement Training council to ensure they are in compliance with a new set of minimum standards concerning use of force. Currently only 70 of some 300 departments in the state have state or national accreditation.

Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.