Law to limit public access to Department of Public Safety records moves forward

Thursday, February 24th 2005, 6:40 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Legislation to limit the public's access to Department of Public Safety records was approved by a legislative committee after its author said the Oklahoma Press Association is working with DPS to iron out differences.

Representative John Carey says the House Rules Committee voted 8-to-0 to send the measure to the full House for a vote.

Earlier this month, an Oklahoma County judge ordered DPS to give a Tulsa newspaper a list of documents and computerized data including records concerning use of force by state troopers; a database of police dog searches; a list of lawsuits and other legal actions involving DPS; and records relating to the agency's computerized data.

The proposed legislation would amend Oklahoma's Open Records Act to only permit requests for records related to a specific incident and would bar access to DPS policies and procedures as well as operations manuals if their release would jeopardize safety or security.