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Ky. Search Warrant Task Force issues final report, 8 recommendations

Attorney General Daniel Cameron put the task force together after the death of Breonna Taylor....
Attorney General Daniel Cameron put the task force together after the death of Breonna Taylor. Louisville police were serving a warrant at her home when they shot and killed her.(WKYT)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 9:38 AM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Search Warrant Task Force has released its final report and recommendations.

(Read the full report below)

Attorney General Daniel Cameron put the task force together after the death of Breonna Taylor. Louisville police were serving a warrant at her home when they shot and killed her.

The report provides recommendations related to the securing, reviewing, and serving of search warrants in Kentucky. The Task Force’s report includes eight recommendations:

The Task Force recommends:

  1. As soon as feasible, all state and local agencies with the authority to execute search warrants should utilize an electronic platform maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts for handling those warrants; paper copies of search warrants should be maintained as backup.
  2. Agencies serving search warrants should track the locations at which the warrants are served. Those locations should be regularly published in a manner that is accessible to the public. The format should allow the public to compare the number of search warrants served across various zip codes and regions of the Commonwealth. The format should not reveal the addresses for which search warrants were sought or obtained.
  3. In the absence of an emergency, a prosecutor should review and approve a proposed search warrant before the investigating agency seeks judicial authorization for the warrant.
  4. Law enforcement officers should receive search warrant-related training at the beginning of their careers and thereafter should receive updated training regularly, as determined by the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training. The curriculum should include: search warrant form and mandatory components; accurately describing the property to be searched; developing and articulating probable cause; time limitations for probable cause and execution of warrants; officer and citizen safety concerns in execution of warrants; and proper documentation of an executed search warrant.
  5. All law enforcement bodies should adopt, enforce, and regularly update written policies and procedures that govern the service of search warrants in their jurisdictions. An example of such policies and procedures can be found in the report.
  6. For every search warrant that is sought, law enforcement officers should consider, along with other relevant factors, the time of day that is most appropriate for service.
  7. Whenever the service of a search warrant may impact a minor, child protective services should be notified of that search warrant.
  8. Law enforcement bodies in the Commonwealth should adopt some form of a toolkit to guide the serving of search warrants. For a list of the items to be included in such a toolkit, the Search Warrant Task Force proposes that law enforcement bodies adopt some version of the model toolkit found in the report, which include “best practices” that may evolve to fit the needs of various localities.

The final report of the Task Force also includes a suggested toolkit for law enforcement, as well as a detailed recap of the Task Force’s work this year.

The Task Force is chaired by Attorney General Cameron and is comprised of 18 members, including citizen members, representatives from the law enforcement community, legislators, judges, prosecutors, the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Association of Counties, the NAACP, and the public advocate.

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