The 2018 session closed with little damage done to Kansas law enforcement and several helpful changes to the law. Detailed and topic specific summaries are available at http://www.kslawenforcementinfo.com/kpoa.html. Don't miss the "Ten Things Every Law Enforcement Officer Needs to Know" document on the site.
There were no major changes to the body cam/vehicle cam video laws affecting the line officers, although clarity was added regarding who must be allowed to view a video on request and establishing a time limit to allow the viewing. The bulk of the legislative proposals on this topic were referred to the Judicial Council for study, so this will be on the legislative agenda again in 2019.
The legislature adopted the recommendations of the Judicial Council regarding civil asset forfeiture. The key changes are statewide reporting starting in 2019 and adoption of the federal expenditure guidelines for state forfeiture funds. The current reporting requirement, an annual report to you local governing body, remains in place for the end of 2018 report. There were also some procedural changes, mostly the lawyers will have to do, but the law enforcement officer making the decision to seek forfeiture must now complete an affidavit of facts stating the grounds for the seizure and facts supporting forfeiture.
Some of the major law changes include:
- major changes to the DUI laws;
- changes to KSA 21-5301 adding state offenses mirroring several federal prohibitions of firearm possession;
- throwing stars are now legal absent intent to use against another person;
- change to definition of marijuana to allow for industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC and possessed under state licensing) and CBD products with zero THC content;
- expanded hours of operation of drinking establishments;
- new statutes for juvenile crisis intervention, including application in some juvenile offender cases and a requirement to take a juvenile into custody when you have reason to believe the juvenile is in a mental health crisis and a danger to themselves or others; and
- LEOs are now covered under the law in cases of consensual sex of a person during certain LEO interactions.
Things to watch for next year:
- Marijuana legalization (a vote on a floor amendment in the House this year failed by less than 10 votes;
- More rules on law enforcement video recordings;
- Legislation to increase public accessibility to criminal investigation reports;
- Immunity from criminal liability for those reporting drug overdoses;
- Transferring many reports to DCF for child abuse or neglect to law enforcement to investigate;
- Lowering concealed carry age to 18;
- Extreme risk protection orders to prohibit firearms possessions for those believed to be a risk to self or others (current proposal would require LE to conduct searches and seize weapons from those and order is issued against, and the order may be issued at the request of family member prior to a full hearing).
Stay engaged and talk to your state senators and representatives about these issues. You can identify your senator and representative at www.openstates.org/ks.
Keep up with current law enforcement information and special notices from state agencies such as Alcohol Beverage Control, Motor Vehicle, and others by signing up for e-mail notifications with KPOA or at www.kslawenforcementinfo.com/emailsignup.html.
Do you have a legislative request for the KPOA to consider? Send the details in an e-mail to ed.klumpp@KsLawEnforcementInfo.com with the subject line "KPOA Legislative Request".