SECOND REGULAR SESSION

House Concurrent Resolution No. 30

95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES ROORDA (Sponsor) AND WEBBER (Co-sponsor).

3521L.01I

 

Whereas, the work of law enforcement agencies is a social service of great

 importance and there is, therefore, a need to maintain and, whenever necessary, to improve the working conditions and status of these officials; and


            Whereas, law enforcement agencies have a vital role in the protection of the right to life, liberty, and security of the person; and


            Whereas, it is appropriate that, with due regard to their personal safety, consideration be given to the role of law enforcement in relation to the administration of justice, to the protection of the right to life, liberty, and security of the person, to their responsibility to maintain public safety and social peace, and to the importance of their qualifications, training, and conduct; and


            Whereas, law enforcement should develop a range of means as broad as possible and equip law enforcement officers with various types of weapons and ammunition that allow for a differentiated use of force and firearms, including the development of nonlethal and less-lethal incapacitating weapons for use in appropriate situations; and


            Whereas, the use of nonlethal or less-lethal weapons has brought about a major shift in tactics and alternatives to law enforcement agencies over the last twenty years; and


            Whereas, prior to the introduction of these types of weapons and products, law enforcement agencies had limited options in dealing with situations, while very serious in nature, may not have required the use of deadly force, such as a firearm; and


            Whereas, even in situations where deadly force is not applied, tactics and techniques often place law enforcement officers and suspects at risk for serious injury and even death; and


            Whereas, law enforcement agencies have long recognized that a wide and dangerous gap exists in the range of tools available to them. As a result, law enforcement agencies have long operated with a "continuum of force" which provides guidance to law enforcement officers in selecting the type of weaponry to use in a variety of situations; and


            Whereas, the use of force and weapons by law enforcement officers is one of the most visible and controversial aspects of law enforcement; and


            Whereas, the use of force by law enforcement officers should be carefully monitored and reviewed on a continuing basis, and based on such monitoring and review, modified when necessary:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved by the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, that the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate appoint a Joint Interim Committee on Use of Less-Lethal Options by Law Enforcement that is authorized to function during the legislative interim between the Second Regular Session of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly and First Regular Session of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly to comprehensively study and make recommendations regarding the use and relative dangers of less than lethal options, including but not limited to tear gas, pepper mace, ballistic bean bags, and tasers, by law enforcement agencies in Missouri; and


            Be it further resolved that the Joint Interim Committee shall prepare a final report, together with its recommendations for any legislative action deemed necessary for submission to the General Assembly prior to commencement of the First Regular Session of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly; and


            Be it further resolved that the Joint Interim Committee may solicit input and information necessary to fulfill its obligations, including but not limited to soliciting input and information from any state department or agency the Joint Interim Committee deems relevant, law enforcement agencies, and the general public; and


            Be it further resolved that the staffs of House Research, the Joint Committee on Legislative Research, and Senate Research shall provide such legal, research, clerical, technical, and bill drafting services as the Joint Interim Committee may require in the performance of its duties; and

 

            Be it further resolved that the actual and necessary expenses of the Joint Interim Committee, its members, and any staff assigned to the Joint Interim Committee incurred by the Joint Interim Committee shall be paid by the Joint Contingent Fund.