The Pennsylvania State Police doesn’t have to honor a newspaper’s request to divulge the names of police officers across the state who are accredited by the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, Commonwealth Court ruled Wednesday. The Patriot-News said the decision, which hinges on logistical rather than security grounds, overturns a state Open Records Office ruling that granted the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette most of the records it has been seeking for nearly a year.
In an April ruling, the Open Records Office ordered the state police to provide the names of the thousands of officers accredited by the commission and their departments, but allowed the agency for security reasons to redact the names of officers on undercover duty. In its appeal, the state police argued it could not readily determine which officers accredited by the commission are on undercover assignments. The agency also argued that disclosure of the information would jeopardize public safety.