Police Misconduct Recordkeeping Bill Survives The House

Mar 25, 2021

Credit Wyoming Legislature

After killing it earlier in the day, the Wyoming House of Representatives reconsidered and passed the bill that would provide a statewide structure for tracking instances of serious police misconduct.

The bill looks to prevent law enforcement officers with records of serious misconduct from getting or maintaining certification in Wyoming.

It would require the Wyoming Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission to maintain records and investigations of serious misconduct since law enforcement agencies all over the state have different systems in place.

Supporters of the bill say it would promote confidence in law enforcement and transparency.

"The problem that this bill is trying to solve is that when you have officers who engage in serious misconduct, they often will resign without a completion of an investigation, and there's no record that is kept," said the bill's sponsor Laramie Rep. Karlee Provenza.

"So the investigation is over, and they quit and they can move on to another job, and we've seen across the state officers who have engaged in serious misconduct be able to obtain employment elsewhere without that record kind of following them."

But critics had questions about due process for officers and how alleged complaints that don't amount to serious misconduct would be handled.

The bill moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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