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Officer Decertification for Sex Incidents in Kansas, Surrounding States

An Associated Press investigation into sexual misconduct by law enforcement officers in the U.S. identified some 1,000 in six years who lost their licenses for sexual assault or other sex offenses or misconduct, including possession of child pornography, voyeurism and sex on duty. The findings are based on an analysis of state records for an administrative process called decertification, but the AP found that policies regarding decertification vary widely from state to state. Forty-one states provided information, three did not, and six states and the District of Columbia said they did not decertify officers for misconduct. Here's a summary of state actions from 2009 through 2014, including AP's tally of sex-related decertifications. The numbers do not reflect the full scope of the problem because not all incidents get reported; some states, for example, reported no officers removed for sexual misdeeds, even though the AP identified cases in court records or news reports. In determining whether a decertification was sex-related, the AP relied mostly on the reason a state provided, but cause was not always clear. Some states gave no reason for a revoked license, or used terms such as "conduct unbecoming an officer" or "voluntary surrender" for officers the AP determined, through additional reporting, had committed sex-related crimes or misconduct.

—KANSAS: The Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training decertified 143 officers, 28 for sex-related misconduct. Agencies must notify the commission of any officer's arrest. Kansas can take action on convictions or noncriminal matters.

—NEBRASKA: The Police Standards Advisory Council decertified 45 officers, eight for sex-related misconduct. Nebraska doesn't require agencies to report officer misconduct. Officers can lose their licenses for convictions or noncriminal misbehavior.

—COLORADO: The state decertified 142 officers, 22 for sex-related misconduct. According to the state's online standards manual, officers can lose their licenses after a conviction, though it is unclear whether noncriminal incidents can also result in decertification. Colorado officials did not respond to questions about reporting requirements for misconduct.

—MISSOURI: The Missouri Department of Public Safety decertified 144 officers, 26 for sex-related misconduct. Agencies must notify the state when an officer leaves and specifically if it's for a crime, violation of agency regulations or failure to meet minimum state standards. Missouri can decertify for reasons other than a conviction.

—OKLAHOMA: The Oklahoma Commission on Law Enforcement Education and Training decertified 130 officers between 2012 and 2014, 15 for sex-related misconduct. The agency said it was too much work to provide the number of decertified officers going back to 2009. The agency considers most decertification information confidential under state law and allowed the AP to review only final records for officers it deemed to have committed sexual misconduct. Oklahoma requires that agencies disclose when they fire officers for misconduct that could result in decertification. The state can decertify for felony and misdemeanor convictions.


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