Colorado Public Sector Employers Must Have Waiver for Peace Officer Applicants

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed HB 16-1262 On June 10, requiring peace officer candidates to sign a waiver when applying to any state or local law enforcement agency. This includes the Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, a county sheriff’s office, a municipal police department, the Division of Parks and Wildlife within the Department of Natural Resources, or a town marshal’s office.

The waiver allows the employer to obtain records from another law enforcement or governmental agency. The state or local law enforcement agency or other government agency will not be held liable for complying with the waiver requirements.

There is an exception if the agency is prohibited from providing the disclosure due to a binding non-disclosure agreement, so long as that agreement was signed before the passage of HB 16-1262. If this exception is not in place, an applicant who will not allow the release of records will not be considered for the position.

The hiring agency is required to submit the waiver to the previous state agency employer at least 21 days before making a decision. A law enforcement agency or government agency must respond to the records request within 21 days of receiving the waiver.  State and local governmental employers may want to have waivers signed early in the hiring process, as it could take up to three weeks to receive the information.

The bill also expands the authority of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board to deny POST certification to a person who has entered into a deferred judgment, deferred prosecution, diversion agreement, or deferred adjudication, including a juvenile adjudication, for any felony or misdemeanor prohibited under current law if it determines that certification is not in the public interest.