The Rhode Island State Police have revised a policy that will now allow people to file anonymous requests for public records, reports the Providence Journal. The change comes a week after the paper reported that state police were asking all visitors to the barracks to show IDs so they can be identified and checked for warrants. The identification policy, which Col. Steven G. O'Donnell said he'd enhanced after attacks on law enforcement officers in other states, conflicted with the state open-records law.
The law says people do not have to identify themselves to obtain public records. O'Donnell said he has updated the policy so troopers will no longer ask for identification of anyone seeking public records. Instead, someone who makes a request will be assigned a call number in the computer-aided dispatch system. Justin Silverman, executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, called the policy an “improvement.”