PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was joined by Michelle Kenney, the mother of Antwon Rose II, in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to announce the launch of a database for police misconduct records.
Gov. Tom Wolf signed the new database into law last summer. It went live Wednesday and all departments across Pennsylvania are required to participate.
"There is real accountability and transparency in the system now because the information will be known by the hiring agencies and they are accountable to the people through the various representatives in their communities," said Shapiro.
The goal is to provide state and local police departments with records on a candidate's employment background at other law enforcement agencies. Any criminal charge, civil or ethical complaint and reason for a departure will be required to be entered into the database for every law enforcement officer across the state.
The goal is to know the red flags and stop opportunities to jump from department to department.
"There is no chief that is frustrated more than when someone retires before you can terminate them and the lack of being able to share information with other police departments for fear of liability. This takes that all off the table," said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.
The launch of the database coincides with the week of what would have been Rose's 21st birthday. He was shot and killed by a police officer in East Pittsburgh.
Kenney says the database is a needed step in police reform.
"We've had some conversations where we agreed to disagree," Kenney said. "This wasn't easy, we did some interviews that we completely disagree, because again, I'm Antwon's mom. So I wanted to make sure that we were doing something that every single department, every officer, every person in law enforcement would not only be held accountable for their actions, but there would be a registry where other departments would know what those actions were."
The database will not be a public record, but all hiring agencies will be able to view it. It is required by law for all police chiefs to keep the records updated for any infractions by their officers.
Also present at the announcement of the database launch was Pittsburgh Democratic mayoral nominee Ed Gainey, as well as other state representatives.
for more features.