Proposed legislation seeks to close off information regarding law enforcement officers; critics say that enables coverups

Currently, any member of the public may call KS-CPOST and check on the status of a law enforcement officer’s license; however, little additional information is available, and a bill currently in the Kansas House may restrict information even further.

“They’ve got the lid on it pretty much already, but now they’re trying to weld the lid down onto the can so nobody can get to it,” said Doug Anstaett, executive director for the Kansas Press Association.

The bill, House Bill 2070, was introduced in mid-January.

If enacted, the legislation would make KS-CPOST’s central registry of all Kansas law enforcement officers “available only to those agencies who appoint or elect police or law enforcement officers.”

In addition, the bill would seal off reports written by department heads when law enforcement officers are fired.

Restricting the public’s access to this information would make it impossible for the public to check an officer’s background, Anstaett said.

(Read more: / Lawrence, Kansas)