Lawmakers consider keeping police officer names secret

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia lawmakers are considering whether to keep the names of police officers secret from the news media and public. The bill moving forward in Virginia is drawing sharp criticism from open records advocates who say the names are an important tool in watching whether police departments are hiring problem officers with taxpayer money. Supporters say handing over the lists of police officers and sheriff’s deputies would put them in danger during what they describe as growing contempt toward law enforcement. While officers have been threatened, particularly in high-profile cases, opponents called the bill an extreme reaction to an unlikely scenario. The bill would exempt the names and training records of law enforcement officials from Freedom of Information Act requests.

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