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Bill makes police logs public

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE -- Police logs would become public records in South Dakota under a measure that received approval Thursday by the state Senate.

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Legislators killed a bill last year that sought public-record designation for police logs and mug shots.

Current law allows for the release at the discretion of the law enforcement agency. The new legislation removes that discretion and would require police logs to be open to the public in most instances.

Dropping the mug shots made a big difference. The vote was 33-0 in favor Thursday.

Police logs provide general descriptions but don't contain specific information, according to the bill's prime sponsor, Sen. Craig Tieszen, R-Rapid City.

The retired police chief said the proposed law includes additional protections that would apply in certain circumstances, such as responses to situation involving abuse, mental health or chemical dependency.

"This I think is good government. People have a right to know what their law enforcement agencies are doing," Tieszen said.

No one else spoke on the bill. SB 85 now goes to the House of Representatives.

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