The Premiere Website For Police News In Texas

          



 

Bill could limit public access to police records
Topeka, Kan.
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Glady Jones retires from Galveston College
ߦ   Houston's top prostitution hot spots
ߦ   RETIRING - Chief Alan Bragg - Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
ߦ   Theodore Roosevelt Award Ceremony
ߦ   2 persons of interest in custody in connection with deadly shooting near Alvin
ߦ   Alvin Police Dept - Weekly Offense/Arrests Bulletins
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Charges filed on multiple subjects for illegal gambling - Mug Shots
ߦ   Computer hack exposes 16,000 Florida concealed weapon permit holders
ߦ   DPS Urges Texans to Stay Vigilant, Report Suspicious Activity
ߦ   Drunk driver crashes into patrol car on traffic stop - Photos
ߦ   Former Garland Independent School District Executive Director of Human Resources Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Falsify Immigration Documents
ߦ   Four Armed Drug Traffickers Ordered to Prison
ߦ   Galveston County Daily Arrests/Activity Bulletin
ߦ   Governor Abbott And DFPS Announce Action To Secure Safe Placements For Children In Foster Care
ߦ   Grandmother, grandchild killed in Alvin ISD school bus crash in Brazoria County
ߦ   Houston-Area Psychiatrist Convicted of Health Care Fraud for Role in $158 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
ߦ   Off-duty HSCO deputies engaged in shootout
ߦ   One gunman dead in La Marque shoot-out
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Daily Activity Summary
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Daily Arrests Summary
ߦ   Stop Stick "Hit Of The Year" Awarded To Llano County Sheriff's Office
ߦ   Traffic Stop Yields 7 ounces of Cocaine
ߦ   SUBSCRIBE To Texas Police News
ߦ   Employment
ߦ   Police News - Calendar of Events
ߦ   23 South Texas Law Enforcement Officials Sign Onto Governor Abbotts Sanctuary Cities Op-Ed
ߦ   Alien Smugglers Get Hefty Sentences for Smuggling Venture that Led to Death
ߦ   Blood Drive - Eagle Scout Project In Honor of Trevor Plumley
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Capital Murder at 3333 Marvin D. Love Freeway
ߦ   Chief's Weekly Executive Summary
ߦ   Click It or Ticket safety belt enforcement
ߦ   Copperas Cove PD Needs Help Identifying Suspects
ߦ   Former North Carolina Law Enforcement Officer Found Guilty for Role in Providing Armed Support to Large-Scale Drug Trafficking Organization

   Next >>
 
Search Archives:

The bill, passed with bipartisan support in the House, still has to be passed by the Senate and signed by the governor to take effect

By Hunter Woodall

The Kansas City Star

TOPEKA, Kan. — State records that include complaints and investigations about Kansas law enforcement officers could become more difficult to obtain under a bill moving forward in Topeka.

Under House Bill 2070, certain police records held by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training would not have to be disclosed under the Kansas Open Records Act.

The commission’s records include forms that show why officers left their jobs, as well as details of investigations and complaints.

“The bill changes the fact that when we get requests for those records, we don’t have to redact them and send them out,” said Gary Steed, the executive director of the commission. “We basically say those records aren’t open under KORA, go back to the agency to get those records.”

But Max Kautsch, a Kansas attorney who focuses on open government, said he didn’t agree that other agencies were more likely to put forward the information.

“This next step isn’t really much of a solution because the practical effect is to make it that CPOST can just invoke (an exception to the records law) whenever anybody tries to get a record,” Kautsch said.

Despite passing with more than 100 votes in the House, some lawmakers questioned the transparency issues within the legislation.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, an Overland Park Republican who voted against the bill, said she felt the bill “kind of locks some things up.”

Rep. John Carmichael, a Wichita Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said there will still be a way for people to request the information if the bill becomes law. People could petition a court to release certain records, citing public interest.

“If the agency refuses to produce the information, then you have the right, for $185 and a lawyer, to go to court and say, ‘This ought to be released and here’s why,’ ” Carmichael said. “I don’t like that approach, I would like to think of a better approach.”

Commission officials said this week that the public also could still have access to the records by asking for the information from other law enforcement agencies, rather than the state.

“It’s their record,” commission counsel Michelle Meier said. “They may choose to release that information, but there’s no way for us to keep up on what those 430-some agencies are doing with their records at any given time. The original creating agency is just a better source.”

Kautsch, the open records attorney, said it was “totally bogus” to say that other agencies would be more likely to give up the records because they could cite other open records exemptions.

The bill, passed with bipartisan support in the House, still has to be passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Sam Brownback to take effect.

———

©2017 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
  Facebook   Share link on Twitter Tweet  


© 1999-2017 The Police News. All rights reserved.