More than 30 competing news agencies have formed a coalition to obtain police documents and share the information with each other and the public under California’s new police transparency law, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The California Reporting Project is intended to expose rogue police officers and flaws in their supervision, an effort that already has generated information requests to 675 police agencies in all 58 California counties.
Police unions have resisted the new law and squared off against the media and good government groups in courtrooms from San Diego to Sacramento, so far without success. The unions claim the law cannot be applied to records dated before Jan. 1 because lawmakers did not say specifically in the legislation that it applies to records regardless of when they were created. Disclosures under the law so far have included one officer who had sex in his squad car and another who stole thousands of bullets.