Under current laws in Delaware, the public is not guaranteed any transparency in a police-involved incident. In fact, Delaware’s Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) makes public access to police investigations nearly impossible.
As a result, the public has no insight on why an incident occurred, what could have been done to prevent it, or what disciplinary actions, if any, happened as a result of the investigations.
Delaware’s LEOBOR statute is the worst in the nation for transparency, making the state a leader in police secrecy. LEOBOR also prevents community-led groups, such as Civilian Complaint Review Boards (CCRB) from effectively reviewing, investigating, and disciplining officers in misconduct cases. No other Delaware public employees enjoy equivalent protections when it comes to disciplinary matters.
Use the tool and script below to make a call to your state Senator, asking them to vote "yes" on SB 149, the LEOBOR reform bill.
Here's your script:
"Hi, my name is ______ and I'm a constituent of Senator ______. I'm calling to ask Senator ______ to support amendments to Delaware's Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights by voting YES on SB 149. For decades, Delaware police officers have enjoyed special layers of protection in incidents of police misconduct and have blocked public access to investigations through LEOBOR. The lack of transparency and accountability that LEOBOR provides is a huge barrier to rebuilding trust between communities and law enforcement, but we have an opportunity to change that. Please support amending LEOBOR through SB 149 so we can begin to heal the divide between police and communities. Thank you for your time."
About the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights (LEOBOR)
Delaware’s Law-Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) has fueled police abuse incidents by making it virtually impossible to discipline police officers for misconduct or to know any details of misconduct incidents. No other Delaware public employees enjoy equivalent protections when it comes to disciplinary matters.
Transparency and accountability are necessary for due process, a fairer criminal justice system, trust between our police and communities, and trust within law enforcement agencies.
Senate Bill 149, sponsored by Senator Elizabeth "Tizzy" Lockman, removes the confidentiality clause from the LEOBOR and makes police disciplinary records public. SB 149 also enables the creation of community oversight boards at a state, county, or municipal level with the power to hear and decide police disciplinary matters, gather data about misconduct, provide reports of trends in discipline, make recommendations regarding policy/training, and issue subpoenas.
To learn more about our Delaware: Police Accountability NOW campaign and stay up-to-date on this bill, other police accountability bills, actions, and events, click the button below.