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NCPBA Voices Concern over Governor Cooper's First Law Enforcement Priority as new Director of Public Safety is Announced

The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association represents more than 10,000 law enforcement professionals. Our members are very disappointed that in announcing his new Director of Public Safety, Governor Cooper indicates that his first law enforcement priority is the investigation of the new police camera law providing judicial review in assisting law enforcement officers in upholding their sworn duties to protect evidence versus the proper release of public information. The new law that took effect in October 2016, passed both the North Carolina House and Senate with wide bipartisan support and was supported by law enforcement throughout the state. Despite conflicting and inaccurate media reports, the new law was passed following months of detailed input from various stakeholders.
 
Yet, the Governor’s top concern about the new law is the rule of law component of the legislation providing judicial review and oversight.
 
According to NCPBA President Randy Byrd, “It is critically important that our chiefs and sheriffs, as officers of our courts, have the opportunity to utilize our judiciary in determining what is protected evidence of a police investigation versus what is public record. It is puzzling to us that our new Governor, who spent the past 16 years as North Carolina’s “Top Cop” would consider judicial review pursuant to the rule of law to somehow be problematic.” 
 
President Byrd added, “We certainly support the Governor in any effort to improve transparency in the service to our citizens. However, critically important to any process of transparency is accountability and fairness. We are certain that Governor Cooper shares this position and we look forward to his inclusion of our association in addressing his concerns.” 

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