The Pennsylvania State Police, whose image has been tarnished by reports of widespread sexual misconduct, has adopted sweeping changes in how it investigates and disciplines troopers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. An independent monitor’s report obtained by the Inquirer says that the agency has overhauled how it handles complaints against troopers and created a “one-strike-and-you’re-fired” code of discipline for serious offenses. The report was submitted to the state by Kroll Associates, a New York-based risk-consulting firm. The inspector general’s investigation was ordered after more than 100 cases of sexual misbehavior by troopers were revealed in a civil lawsuit.
Kroll’s report says the agency has made “fundamental changes in the standards and procedures for discipline.” Among major reforms, the agency has created a new code of conduct resulting in automatic dismissal for a range of 12 offenses, including sexual misconduct or harassment, domestic violence, and drug use; barred court-appointed arbitrators from reducing penalties; changed departmental policy so that complaints against troopers no longer are investigated at the troop level, thus barring supervisors from handling matters involving direct subordinates. The changes represent a “total sea change for the future of the agency,” said Col. Jeffrey B. Miller, state police commissioner.