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NY state lawmaker unveils bill to block fired officers from jobs in other departments

NY state lawmaker unveils bill to block fired officers from jobs in other departments
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A group of state legislators in New York is collaborating on legislation that would prevent police officers who are fired by their respective departments from being rehired by other jurisdictions in the state.

New York state Sen. Brian Benjamin (D) told CBS News that the aim of the bill, which he described as very simple in scope and therefore uncontroversial, was to prevent bad actors from continuing to work in law enforcement after being removed from the force.

"If you have the power and the privilege to enforce the law, you must be held to a higher standard," he said. "That standard has to include making sure that cops know that they can't just do whatever they want to do."

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"A bill like this is a common sense bill," Benjamin continued. "I actually don't have any concerns about it passing because the bill is a very basic bill and it's hard for anyone to justify, particularly in this moment, the idea that if a cop was fired in one jurisdiction, they can get a job in another jurisdiction."

The bill would prevent anyone who resigns while under investigation, while facing criminal charges or while facing disciplinary action that could result in their firing from being hired by any other police force in the state.

Versions of the bill will be introduced in New York's state legislature as well as in New York City, where Benjamin is collaborating with New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D) on passing a companion bill.

A study last year published in the Yale Law Journal found that so-called wandering officers, or officers who move to a different agency after being fired for misconduct, are fairly common in the U.S. and tend to become the subject of a higher number of misconduct complaints and firings than other officers.