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Kansas House Advances Bill Limiting Access To Police Records

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

The Kansas House has advanced a bill to allow the state commission that certifies law enforcement officers to close records about officers who have been fired or disciplined.

House members gave first-round approval to the bill on a voice vote. The chamber expects to take a final vote Wednesday to determine whether the bill goes to the Senate.

The bill was sought by Republican Rep. John Whitmer of Wichita. He is chairman of the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training.

Supporters said the bill would protect officers' privacy. Critics worried about limiting access to information about police misconduct.

The bill says records on fired or disciplined officers are personnel records, allowing them to remain closed. Complaints against officers with the commission would be investigatory records, limiting their release.

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