The Premiere Website For Police News In Texas

          



 

Bill could limit public access to police records
Topeka, Kan.
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   $60 million home health-care scam sends Dallas woman, doctor to prison
ߦ   60 illegal immigrants found in cold produce truck
ߦ   Border agents track drone from sky to drugs on the ground
ߦ   Drugged driver injures two officers in northeast Dallas crash, police say
ߦ   Fallen forensics: Judges routinely allow disavowed science
ߦ   Former HPD officer caught in prostitution bust previously charged with theft
ߦ   Hundreds of protesters face off in Houston over Confederate statue
ߦ   Man denies purposely spraying manure on border patrol car
ߦ   No bond for suspect in officers' death in Fla.
ߦ   Sex offenders can live next door to victims in many states
ߦ   Silver alert issued for missing 79-year-old man
ߦ   La Marque Police Entrance Exam
ߦ   2nd Alarm Apartment Fire Sends Two to Parkland Hospital
ߦ   Authorities searching for missing 30-year-old in Galveston County
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Campaign Kick-Off - Commissioner Joe Giusti
ߦ   Constables Arrest Local Barber for Indecent Exposure
ߦ   Critical Missing – Lorenzo Reed
ߦ   Evading Theft Suspects Taken Into Custody After Causing Accident
ߦ   Federal Jury Convicts Dallas Man of Child Pornography Charges
ߦ   Galveston Credit Union Employee Convicted of Theft
ߦ   Jefferson County Man Guilty of Beaumont Drug Trafficking
ߦ   Jury Convicts Honduran Man of Assaulting Federal Officer
ߦ   Law enforcement impaired driver and anti crime task force takes place this weekened.
ߦ   Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Kemah Robbery
ߦ   Montgomery County Constable, Pct 4 - Arrest Blotter
ߦ   Orange County Man Guilty of West Orange Drug Trafficking
ߦ   Public Assistance Needed to Identify Person of Interest in Auto Theft
ߦ   Re-Election Campaign Kick-Off - Judge Mark Henry
ߦ   Sherff's Deputy Convicted Of Extortion
ߦ   Stafford-area man admits killing his wife
ߦ   Suspect Jailed In Series Of Dickinson Burglaries
ߦ   Two “Bank Juggers,” Charged by The Harris County District Attorney’s Office
ߦ   Two Illegal Aliens Head to Prison for Trafficking Meth
ߦ   UPDATE: Fatality fire at Brazos Apartments last night

   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.