WISCONSIN – The Wisconsin Legislature passed a total of 118 new laws in 2021, including those requiring police departments to disclose use of force policies and dealing with a backlog of sexual assault kits.
Here are five laws that were passed this year in Badger State.
Act 48: Prohibit the police from using strangulations
The law prohibits sheriffs, police chiefs and other law enforcement officials from authorizing the use of chokes in their agency’s use of force policy. A strangulation is a movement of applying pressure to a person’s throat, windpipe, or carotid artery to stop breathing or blood flow. Law enforcement officials were only allowed to use the movement in “life-threatening situations or in self-defense”, according to the law.
Act 49: Public Access to Use of Force Policies for Law Enforcement
Sheriffs, police chiefs and others in charge of law enforcement agencies must publicly disclose their standards for the use of force. An agency should post its policy online and make it easier to request a copy.
Act 116: Sexual Assault Kits Must Be Sent to State Crime Lab
The new law requires medical professionals to notify law enforcement within 24 hours if they collect evidence from a sexual assault victim. Law enforcement agencies must collect the kit within 72 hours and send it to the state criminal lab within 14 days. The kit should be kept for 10 years whether or not a victim decides to report an assault.
Act 82: Verification of employment records for police officers
The law allows law enforcement agencies to review the employment records of candidate officers and revoke their accreditation from any officer who has broken agency rules, falsified information, or has been convicted of ‘a felony or misdemeanor. A candidate will be required to sign a waiver that allows the agency to access employment records.