Public Safety bill would make names, addresses of police confidential

ConfidentialBy Bob Eschliman


Under a bill proposed by an Iowa House of Representatives committee last week, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of police officers and their immediate relatives would be considered confidential information that could not be disclosed to the public.

House Study Bill 162 was offered by the House Committee on Public Safety, chaired by state Rep. Clel Baudler (R-Greenfield), and would allow any police officer to request that the general public be prohibited from accessing his or her name, residential address, and telephone number. Similar requests can be made by the officer on behalf of his or her immediate family members.

The bill requires that the redacted name, residential address, and telephone number be replaced, if possible, with a substitute name, residential address, or telephone number. The substitute information must be entered so that the local official is able to identify the information as a substitute.

The Iowa Peace Officers Association is in favor of HSB 162, while the Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association, the Iowa Police Chief Association, and the Iowa State Police Association are “undecided.” The Iowa Newspaper Association and the Iowa Broadcasters Association are both opposed to the proposed legislation.