No Laws In SD For Law Enforcement Transperency

Law Enforcement Transparency

South Dakota doesn’t have a state law regulating law enforcement pursuits of suspected criminals and their ins’t a law regarding the video cameras officers use in government vehicles and on their body. 

Alternatively, there is an exemption that is broad and allow law enforcement to withhold investigation information.


In this instance, the exemption specifically states:

“Records developed or received by law enforcement agencies and other public bodies charged with duties of investigation or examination of persons, institutions, or businesses, if the records constitute a part of the examination, investigation, intelligence information, citizen complaints or inquiries, informant identification, or strategic or tactical information used in law enforcement training.”

There are two exceptions to the exemption. The law goes on to state:

“However, this subdivision does not apply to records so developed or received relating to the presence of and amount or concentration of alcohol or drugs in any body fluid of any person, and this subdivision does not apply to a 911 recording or a transcript of a 911 recording, if the agency or a court determines that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the interest in nondisclosure.”

The exemption has two more caveats.

One is a requirement the state attorney general compare fingerprints of an arrested suspect with those in the state Division of Criminal Investigation file and notify the arresting officer if the arrested person has a criminal record or is what the law describes as “a fugitive from justice.”

The other caveat allows limited information to be shared about calls for service made to law enforcement agencies. The agency can reveal the date, time, general location and general subject matter. But even that broad information can’t be released if it contains criminal intelligence, would jeopardize an ongoing investigation, or identify information about a mental health, chemical dependency or abuse intervention.

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