Legislature(2011 - 2012)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
04/13/2012 08:00 AM JUDICIARY
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 198-POLICE OFFICER PROTECTIONS/CERTIFICATION 9:34:15 AM CHAIR FRENCH announced the consideration of SB 198, "An Act establishing procedures relating to issuance, suspension, or revocation of certification of police officers by the police standards council; making certain court service officers subject to certification by the police standards council; making confidential certain information that personally identifies a police officer; relating to requesting or requiring police officers to submit to lie detector tests; repealing a provision exempting certain police officers from a prohibition against requiring certain employees to submit to lie detector tests; and providing for an effective date." He asked for a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS). 9:34:20 AM SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved to adopt CS for SB 198, labeled 27- LS1306\U, as the working document. CHAIR FRENCH announced that without objection, version U was before the committee. 9:34:56 AM THOMAS PRESLEY, intern to Senator Wielechowski, explained that the CS removed Section 2 relating to clear and convincing evidence. CHAIR FRENCH reviewed a letter from the ACLU that expressed three concerns. The primary concern was addressed by removing Section 2. Another concern related to the confidentiality provision in what is now Section 5. As currently drafted, confidentiality is so tight a police officer who is a bad actor would be insulated from accountability for his or her actions. For example, a woman who was assaulted by an unknown police officer would be unable to even look at a photo array of the officers on duty when she was assaulted. He directed attention to page 3, lines 18 and 20. Both paragraph (1) and (2) say a police officer's information is confidential unless the officer has been lawfully arrested. He suggested removing the terms "lawfully arrested" in both instances and replace it with the terms "under investigation." SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI agreed that was reasonable. 9:36:50 AM CHAIR FRENCH moved Amendment 1. AMENDMENT 1 Page 3, line 18: Delete "lawfully arrested" Insert "under investigation" Page 3, line 20: Delete "lawfully arrested" Insert "under investigation" CHAIR FRENCH found objection and announced Amendment 1 is adopted. He noted that the ACLU also expressed concern about the weight given to prior findings of fact, but his view was that it was a nuanced issue about which reasonable minds could differ. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI explained that the intent was to give substantial weight to the finding when the arbitrators and the courts find that a disciplinary action was not warranted. SENATOR COGHILL expressed reservations and asked the sponsor to remind him why it was the right thing to do to give an officer the ability to refuse to take a lie detector test. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI explained that the basis for the exclusion is that several court cases questioned the validity of polygraph tests. MR. PRESLEY added that at one point the Supreme Court decided to allow individual jurisdictions to use their discretion on how to use polygraph information. This gave credence to the idea that the tests were not necessarily unreliable, but certainly quasi- scientific. SENATOR COGHILL said he continued to have reservations, but realized that a refusal could actually be incriminating. CHAIR FRENCH found no further questions or discussion and asked for a motion. 9:40:58 AM SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved to report CS for SB 198, version U [as amended], from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). CHAIR FRENCH announced that without objection CSSB 198(JUD) moved from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.