- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico’s state police chief has recommended that the board that handles officer misconduct cases allow members of the public to search for information about cases online instead of requiring them to make public records requests to get the information.

“I think that when the board takes action regarding someone’s certification, we should be very clear what decisions are being made - whether that officer was cleared and those charges were dismissed or whether they were upheld,” state police chief Pete Kassetas said Tuesday.

He made his proposal to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board, which has the power to uphold or revoke certifications of police officers across the state.

Kassetas asked for officers’ names, employers, disciplinary decisions and the status of charges to be posted into a public online database.

By making the information easily accessible, Kassetas said, New Mexico’s law enforcement agencies would less likely hire troubled officers who have been fired from other agencies. Posting the information publicly online would also make officers think twice about committing improper actions, he said.

“I don’t want officers walking around worrying about it,” Kassetas said. “But it should be ingrained from day one at the academy: You are a reflection of your community and your department and your profession. And when that’s breached, it’s an embarrassment for the entire law enforcement profession.”

The board did not take immediate action on the request. Members said they could vote upon it during their next public meeting.

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