The governor has signed legislation into law to protect the confidentiality of undercover law officers. Senate Bill 679 was authored by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, and Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City.
“As the former Director of the Bureau of Narcotics, I recognized the roll of the undercover, covert agent in our state is different than a uniform patrol officer. The covert officer relies upon his or her identity not being exposed,” Weaver said. “Defendants at times believe they have been deceived. They feel it’s a personal blow when they find out the person they have been dealing with is actually a law enforcement officer, so there’s a high level of resentment and hostility. This is different than the patrol officer who has the marked vehicle sitting in front of their house. This bill simply puts a layer of protection for these officers to secure their identity.”
Under SB 679, law enforcement agencies can request that their county assessors keep personal information for undercover or covert officers off the internet. That information includes the home address for themselves, their spouse, domestic partner or minor child of the officer as well as telephone numbers or emails. In order to have that information kept off the web, a law enforcement official would have to obtain a court order based on a sworn affidavit by the official stating that the individual whose information is to be kept confidential is an undercover or covert officer.
“I was happy to author this bill that protects the personal information of those who are working undercover to keep our citizens and our communities safe,” Kannady said. “I’m grateful for the work these individuals perform, and I will do everything I can to help them do their job without needless worry.”