The Premiere Website For Police News In Texas

          



 

Bill could limit public access to police records
Topeka, Kan.
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   Mitchell Bradley Hardee, 68, Texas City
ߦ   An Inmate Died After Being Denied Water For 7 Days, And A Jury Is Considering Who’s To Blame
ߦ   Arkansas executes Kenneth Williams, 4th inmate in 8 days
ߦ   3 Men arrested for Tampering with a Government Record
ߦ   Area Sheriff’s Office’s Work Together to Arrest 2 for Multiple Offenses
ߦ   Armed Standoff Leader Claims He's Been Strip Searched "Hundreds Of Times" In Jail While Awaiting Trial
ߦ   Car Burglar Arrested, Goods Recovered In Kemah - Mug Shot
ߦ   Conroe man convicted in bank fraud, theft from employer
ߦ   Driver of vehicle involved in crash charged with DWI
ߦ   Man arrested for Fraudulent Use-Possession of ID Information
ߦ   Man wanted for 1976 Texas murder arrested in Mississippi
ߦ   Police Chase Ends In Jail For Fleeing Driver
ߦ   Police chiefs in Texas push for more women in law enforcement
ߦ   Prescription Drug Take Back Day This Saturday
ߦ   Texas Sheriffs Could Face Jail Time For Not Cooperating With Federal Immigration Law
ߦ   Upshur sheriff: Shooting of deputy's home, cars was ‘attack’
ߦ   Within a one week period, Fort Worth Fire Department Arson Investigators secure two 40yr plus convictions/sentences for arsonists
ߦ   SUBSCRIBE To Texas Police News
ߦ   Employment
ߦ   Police News - Calendar of Events
ߦ   Who To Call For What
ߦ   HELPFUL LINKS
ߦ   Wild Game Cookoff Scheduled for April 29
ߦ   2nd Annual San Leon OysterFest - April 29
ߦ   Lake Houston Crawfish, Cars & Community Festival
ߦ   Give A Hoot About Saving
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Ofice - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Coast Guard suspends search for missing cruise ship crewmember
ߦ   Community Awareness Bulletin – Aggravated Sexual Assault
ߦ   Copperas Cove PD Needs Help Identifying Suspects - Photo
ߦ   Corrections officer killed in inmate attack
ߦ   Delaware trooper fatally shot ID'ed, suspect killed
ߦ   Family suspects missing 12-year-old being held against her will
ߦ   FBI swarms Houston engineering firm, cluster of Laredo buildings
ߦ   Former Texan Gets Hammered with 30-Year Prison Sentence

   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.