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House Judiciary Committee Moves Forward With Police Misconduct Bill

Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming House Judiciary Committee decided to move forward with a bill that would create a system for maintaining records for instances of serious police misconduct that occur in the state.

The bill's goal would be to keep officers with a history of serious misconduct from being a certified officer in Wyoming. Currently, local law enforcement offices have different record keeping systems when it comes to misconduct. Under the bill, the records would be kept with Wyoming's Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, which certifies officers in the state.

Laramie Rep. Karlee Provenza, the bill's sponsor, said there are consequences when officers are allowed to go unchecked.

"This is important for a couple of reasons, specifically, because officers with a history of misconduct have a tendency to propagate further misconduct and have lengthy records of such," she said.

Provenza added this is also a way to ensure the public's confidence with law enforcement.

Some committee members questioned what would define serious misconduct and if there would be any due process for what made it into the files. But those who testified said the same systems for investigation accusations of misconduct would be in place within each law enforcement organization.

The bill will move into the full House for consideration.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.

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