Public Act 128 of 2017 ~ Separation Records ~ Effective January 15, 2018
On January 15, 2018, Public Act 128 of 2017 took effect. The Act that requires a law enforcement agency who is hiring a current or previously licensed law enforcement officer to request and review the reasons for, and circumstances under which an applicant left employment with a previous law enforcement agency. It also requires an agency receiving such a request to disclose this information. The act provides for liability protection from such disclosures for the former agency and allows an applicant due process to object to information with an explanation. See the specifics below.
The act also required MCOLES to create a release of authorization for this purpose and to verify that the hiring agency complied with the requirements of the Act prior to accepting the hiring and licensing of the individual with the new agency. In order to implement this we have developed the attached MCOLES Authorization for Release of Information form which is a fillable form and an instruction sheet for completion.
Duties and Immunities of Separating Agency
- The agency must create and maintain a record regarding the reasons for, and circumstances surrounding, the separation.
- The agency must provide that record to another agency seeking to employ the officer, upon receiving an executed copy of Section C of the MCOLES Authorization for Release of Information Form.
- The agency must allow an officer who has been separated to review the record.
- The agency that has received a separated officer’s written explanation explaining his or her position and the basis for the disagreement must keep that written explanation with the record, and provide it to an agency to whom it provides the record as required in the Act.
- An agency that provides the record regarding the reasons for, and circumstances surrounding, the separation to another agency is immune from liability for that disclosure unless the agency knew the information in the record was false or misleading, disclosed the information with reckless disregard for the truth, or the disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law.
Duties of Agency Seeking to Employ a Current or Previously Licensed Officer
- The agency shall not employ an officer unless the agency has received the record regarding the reasons for, and circumstances surrounding, the separation from all previous law enforcement agencies.
- The agency must acknowledge receipt of the circumstances surrounding this individual's separation from employment on the MITN License Activation or New Hire report. The Authorization for Release of Information must still be forwarded to MCOLES with the license activation or new hire documents.
Duties and Rights of an Officer That Has Separated
- If the officer seeks to be employed by another agency, he or she must execute Section C of the MCOLES Authorization for Release of Information form.
- If the officer executes Section C of the MCOLES Release of Information Form, he or she must provide that form to any agency with whom the officer seeks to be employed.
- The officer may review the record upon making a request to the separating agency.
- The officer may request a correction or removal of any portion of the record he or she believes is incorrect.
- If the officer cannot agree with the separating agency concerning a correction or removal, the officer may submit to the separating agency a written explanation explaining his or her position and the basis for the disagreement.