Gov. Andy Beshear ceremoniously signed a bill into law Thursday that will prevent sexual assault offenders from becoming police officers. He officially signed the bill into law in April.
“This bill helps to ensure that sexual assault victims will never see their attackers wearing a badge and being in that position of power in their communities,” said Rep. Rachel Roberts (D-Newport), the primary sponsor of House Bill 206.
HB206 will prevent those with certain misdemeanor offenses from getting certification, returning from inactive status, or revoking certification for those who get a misdemeanor while active.
The bill specifically prohibits anyone who has been convicted of severe misdemeanors, including assault of any kind against a minor, from being certified or retaining the certification of a peace officer.
HB 206 is an extension of last year’s Senate Bills 80 and 52, both of which passed the House, Roberts said in February. SB80 was passed and signed into law as a police reform bill that allows the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) to take action against police officers found guilty of crimes.
Roberts noted that the bill had the full support of the Kentucky FOP, Chiefs Association, and the Kentucky State Police.
“I believe that HB206 had so much support from law enforcement because no one cares more about keeping bad actors out of the force than good cops,” Roberts said.