About this Database

Wilson Center Logo

This Registry contains information about legislation regarding policing introduced in states and at the federal level since 2018. The initial impetus for creating this collection was the surge of lawmaking concerning policing at the federal, state and local levels, beginning in Spring 2020, including in response to the killing of George Floyd. To better understand lawmaking in response to calls for reform, at the Wilson Center for Science and Justice, we began tracking the introduction of policing-related legislation. Since that time, new topics and approaches to lawmaking concerning police have become more common. This database, which has been updated continually, includes almost 3,000 bills, federal, state, and local, across the range of topics related to law enforcement, introduced from Fall 2019 to present. We plan to both update the database over time to track this legislation. Please contact us with any questions, corrections, or suggestions concerning this Registry

Overview of the Database

The policing legislation database is searchable by state, date, topic, and includes citations, summaries, and the text of each statute. We used a series of searches in the LexisNexis legislative tracking service to assemble the collection, as well as state legislative websites. We did not include changes to local patrol guides, since law enforcement manuals are often not easily accessible. All legislation introduced relating to police and law enforcement was included, and therefore, a wide range of topics were covered, from funding, to police use of force, to body cameras, to training, to the right to record police officers. We did not include laws that made revisions to criminal procedure or substantive criminal offenses.

Our Findings

The Wilson Center analyzed the laws passed between 2018–2022 and released a report of our findings in May 2023. We describe below several key areas in which legislation has been introduced and enacted in recent years in The Laws That Regulate Police: The Wilson Center's Policing Legislation Database.

About the Wilson Center for Science & Justice

The Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law seeks to advance criminal justice reform and equity through science and law. We engage with academics, policy makers, and community stakeholders to translate interdisciplinary research into effective and practical policy. Learn more about the Center at our website.


Enacted and Introduced Police Legislation

How to Use These Data

These data include legislation regulating law enforcement agencies introduced in state and federal legislatures in the United States from 2018 to present.

You can use the filter box to the right of the displayed list of legislation to populate a list of legislation by state (or federal) legislation, by status (pending, failed, or enacted), by year (based on date of introduction), and by bill topic.

You can also sort displayed legislation by clicking on each header to the right (state, citation, status, topic, title, date, and summary).

The list of topics, included below, is designed to provide a better sense of the area covered by each piece of legislation, but by necessity, each topic is fairly general. When a bill includes more than one subject, we try to list each sub-topic, in order to concisely capture the goals of the bill. However, when bills are displayed, one can also read the bill summary and the legislative text, in order to obtain a full picture of the legislation.

List of Topics

  • arrest
  • background check
  • bail
  • biometric data
  • body cameras
  • budget
  • child abuse
  • chokeholds
  • civil liability
  • civilian review board
  • COVID-19
  • criminal liability
  • crisis intervention
  • dash cameras
  • data collection
  • de-escalation
  • death penalty
  • decertification
  • defunding
  • demilitarization
  • disability
  • disciplinary record disclosure
  • diversity
  • domestic violence
  • drones
  • duty to intervene
  • duty to report
  • elections
  • equipment
  • facial recognition
  • firearms
  • hate crimes
  • hiring
  • homelessness
  • honorific
  • human trafficking
  • immigration
  • indigenous communities
  • interrogations
  • investigation/prosecution of police misconduct
  • jurisdiction
  • liability and qualified immunity
  • marijuana
  • mental health
  • missing children
  • missing person
  • no knock warrants
  • other
  • overdose
  • personnel management
  • police animals
  • police in schools
  • privacy
  • private security
  • property seizure
  • protest policy
  • qualified immunity
  • racial profiling
  • retirement
  • searches
  • sentencing
  • sexual assault
  • standards and certification
  • study commission
  • subpoena
  • surveillance
  • technology
  • terrorism
  • tort liability
  • torture
  • training
  • transparency
  • use of force
  • vehicles
  • warrant