A new report shows sheriff’s departments in Missouri are not always following the law when it comes to open records, according to a new study by the Missouri Sunshine Coalition.

The Missouri Press Association sent Sunshine-Law requests to all 114 sheriffs in the Show-Me State.

And while most complied with the law, several did not.

The study shows about a dozen sheriff’s offices — including those in Barry and Dent counties — never responded to the Sunshine request. The law requires a response within three working days.

“The results of this project point to a real imperative to ramp up the education of public officials about the Sunshine Law,” said Jim Robertson, president of the Missouri Sunshine Coalition. “The law demands responsiveness by government officials to requests for information from the public and clearly mandates access to the records we requested. We found that too many jurisdictions fail to understand or follow the law.”

 

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