New Law is Latest Stride Toward Law Enforcement Transparency
Christine Wood Details New Law Requiring the Disclosure of Police Records in Daily Journal Article
In a Daily Journal article, BBK Partner and Director of PRA Services and E-Discovery Counsel Christine Wood discusses a newly enacted package of public safety measures, including SB 16, which clarifies and expands laws requiring the disclosure of police records. Christine explains that some of the measures went into effect on Jan. 1, but some have been intentionally delayed by California Legislature. The article provides a brief history of law enforcement transparency and provides best practices for law enforcement agencies.
“It is necessary to review SB 1421, which was enacted in 2019, in order to understand the context and impact of SB 16,” Christine notes. “Prior to 2019, California had a basic approach to the release of police records: You could not have them. Most notably, in the 1970s, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed into a law a Penal Code provision that made nearly all police personnel records confidential.”
Christine advises law enforcement agencies to “start now to identify any records that are retained by the agency that are subject to SB 16.”
Christine’s Daily Journal article is available to subscribers here.