The House State Affairs Committee unanimously approved legislation Wednesday that would, if enacted, allow police officers to remove their names from state public records.
Boise City Police officer Joel Teuber, at a previous hearing on the bill, said that "It’s easy for people in the public, including criminals, to find a police officer’s home address and threaten their spouses and children” Teuber told lawmakers that there has been an increase of threats and violence against public safety workers, and, in particular, workers in Idaho's prisons and other correctional facilities.
"They’ve had several incidents where inmates’ family members have gotten a hold of a correction officers’ home phone numbers and addresses and used that to harass, threaten, and intimidate staff members and their family, sometimes to the point of using it to coerce the staff members to do favors for the inmates," said Teuber at the previous hearing.
In addition to police officers, judges, corrections workers, and prosecutors would also receive protection under the legislation. If the bill is passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Butch Otter, removal of personal information, including home addresses and phone numbers, would not be automatic. All covered by the legislation would be required to apply to have the information removed.
The plan, which has won the support of the Idaho Fraternal Order of Police, now heads to the full House for a full vote.
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