The Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association and the United Black Police Officers Association write to provide wholehearted support for HB 413, Public Information Act - Personnel and Investigatory Records - Formal Complaints Against Public Employees.
The Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association (HNLEA) is a nonprofit association of Latino and minority law enforcement professionals involved in the administration of justice and dedicated to the advancement of Hispanic and minority interests in the law enforcement profession.
The United Black Police Officers Association’s (UBPOA) mission is to provide an organization for minority law enforcement officers with professional development and training, to create meaningful partnerships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve and to promote equal appointments, assignments, and promotions within the law enforcement profession.
HNLEA and UBPOA support the Public Information Act because of the need for transparency between law enforcement and the communities we are sworn to protect. Events such as Ferguson Mo., Chicago, Ill., Baltimore Md., and recently unfair disciplinary practices and retaliation for reporting other officers’ misdeeds in Prince George’s County Police Department have eroded the trust in law enforcement to unprecedented levels across the country. From a community policing perspective, transparency builds trust in the communities we serve. This trust is needed in order to efficiently solve crimes and effectively serve the people.
Within the law enforcement community, transparency holds us accountable to one another. It is often difficult to police ourselves when no one is watching. This legislation would help to ensure a system of checks and balances is in place.
Passage of the Public Information Act would help to put sufficient protections into place to ensure we are accountable to the people we serve while helping to repair the damage done in the last couple of years.
HNLEA and UBPOA urges a positive report on House Bill 413, Public Information Act - Personnel and Investigatory Records - Formal Complaints Against Public Employees.