Secrecy For Police At Arkansas Capitol, Perhaps Colleges Becomes Law

Mar 14, 2017

Arkansas state Capitol
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The agency that protects Arkansas' state Capitol and grounds now has the authority to operate in secret after the governor let a Freedom of Information exemption become law without his signature.

A spokesman said Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not sign the bill, which was intended to close loopholes that some believed would let anyone access security assignments. Spokesman J.R. Davis said he could comment later.

As the bill is written, it would prevent disclosure of any information about the force: its size, its racial or gender makeup or any officer's salary. A similar bill extending privacy to police forces at state-funded colleges and universities passed the Senate on Tuesday.

Open records advocates say the rollbacks would be the greatest ever for the state's 50-year-old Freedom of Information Act.