A bill moving forward in Virginia would do that, and it's drawing sharp criticism from open records advocates who say the names are an important tool in keeping watch over whether police departments are hiring problem officers with taxpayer money. While officers have been threatened, particularly in high-profile cases, opponents call the bill an extreme reaction to an unlikely scenario.
The bill was introduced in response to a recent court ruling directing the state to turn over the names and employment dates of thousands of law enforcement officials to The Virginian-Pilot. The measure would have broad implications, critics suggested, and perhaps even allow officers to refuse to tell someone their name during a traffic stop. Dan Bevarly, interim executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said he's unaware of another state with a law of this scope.
A bill before New Jersey lawmakers would allow officials to withhold the names of state police detectives. If the law passes, there may be little recourse to challenging the law in court because the state can essentially make whatever rules it wants to when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act, said Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, which opposes the bill. Cosgrove said he believed that rank-and-file officers would let the public know if nepotism or corruption was occurring in a department. The bill passed Virginia's GOP-controlled Senate by a 25-15 vote this month, and still needs to get through the House of Delegates, where Republicans also hold the majority. John Jones, executive director of the sheriffs' group, said he believes that the concerns about the bill are unfounded. Associated Press reporters Michael Catalini in Trenton, New Jersey; Jonathan Mattise in Charleston, West Virginia and Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contributed to this story.
This story has been corrected to reflect that the court mandated only the release of current, not former, law enforcement officials.
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Whether you're a media buyer or an individual, we have simple cost-effective web banner advertising rates and packages. Even though there have been numerous objections raised to SB 1445, the state Senate committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would keep the names of police officers’ secret after shootings. Law enforcement agencies would be permitted to withhold names of officers involved in shootings for 90 days after incidences of deadly force. Steve Henry, the chief deputy for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, gave an example of a deputy who shot and killed a suspect after a lengthy, high-speed chase. Countering this position, Representative Reginald Bolding (D-Phoenix), told the committee that keeping police officers’ names secret reduces transparency and would lead to greater resentment in the community.
A former state lawmaker representing the Maricopa County NAACP, Sandra Kennedy, added that the change reduces the public trust in police.
Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio said said that the officer in the December incident also faced protesters picketing his home.
After hearing the arguments, the committee endorsed the bill on a 3-1 vote and forwarded it to the full Senate. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, watches the proceedings on the floor of the Virginia Senate during the session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Feb. Supporters say handing over the lists of names would put officers and deputies in danger at a time of what they describe as growing contempt toward law enforcement. The paper has said it's seeking to determine whether problem officers who leave a department land a job at another agency. Cosgrove dismissed that idea and said he would work with opponents to tailor the bill, if necessary. You don't get to do that in secret," said Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.


West Virginia lawmakers are considering a measure that shields officers' and their families' contact information from the public. He stressed that his bill wouldn't prevent localities from turning over police officers' names if they so choose.
It's being backed by all of the major law enforcement associations, including the Virginia State Police Association and the Virginia Sheriffs' Association. The state provided the names of former officials to the newspaper even though it wasn't ordered by the court.
We don't shy away from controversy, and will publish anything that interests us and matches our focus for the site. The bill would exempt the names of law enforcement officials from Freedom of Information Act requests, and also shield training records, which detail the courses an officer completed and how they performed. And several states have or are examining laws aimed at preventing the release of the names of officers involved in shootings.
But the Democrat has sided with law enforcement over civil liberties advocates in the past, such as when he vetoed a bill last year that sought to limit how long officials can hold onto information collected from license plate readers. Submit your article contributions and participate in the world's largest independent online news community today!
Cosgrove is sponsor of a bill that would exempt the names and training records of law enforcement officials from Freedom of Information Act requests.



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