- Associated Press - Sunday, August 28, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A proposal to do away with a rule that requires the director of the state law enforcement training academy to post lesson plans online for public review is drawing fire.

Another proposal allows the academy director or board chair to reject any of the public’s requested agenda items, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported (https://bit.ly/2bAHA4V ). “That decision will be final,” according to the measure.

Critics say the changes would limit transparency and prevent residents from raising concerns about police tactics.

“Openness and transparency build trust while secrecy breeds suspicion and discontent,” said a letter to the board from Susan Boe, the director of nonprofit New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

Board member Elisabeth Miller and academy Director Stephan Marshall say the public can address the board during every meeting’s comment portion.

Miller told board members about the proposals during a sparsely attended meeting.

The measures could be tabled pending additional public input or come up for a vote during two days of meetings starting Sept. 6.

“This isn’t the end of all of this,” Miller said. “So any comments that were made today will be discussed and considered for further changes down the line.”

Attorney General Hector Balderas chairs the board overseeing the academy. Spokesman James Hallinan declined to comment on how Balderas may vote.

“The rules hearing is not a forum for board member input. It is instead an opportunity for the public to relay their comments and concerns,” Hallinan said. “Board members will have a later opportunity to comment upon the rules. Thus, it is inappropriate for the Office of the Attorney General to comment upon the rules at this time.”


Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, https://www.sfnewmexican.com

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