"What's the rationale for making them different," she asked.
The question was opened to the room, including to West Virginia State Police Maj. Gordon Ingold, who spoke out against the bill. No one responded.
Ingold said the State Police already has an Internal Affairs unit and that because it keeps track of all infractions, the names of State Police officers would show up in the database more often. He also said the bill usurps the department's legislative rules for internal investigations.
"This duplicates what we already do. It is not necessary for our agency," he said. "The rules would hamper the ability we have in place to do our investigations. ... Some other departments don't have the in-depth investigative process we have."
Skinner said his reading of the bill would not mean that every complaint made against an officer would be included.
The State Police created the legislative rules when the West Virginia Supreme Court forced it to do so in 1995. Before that, it was common for troopers of the same detachment to investigate each other. The ruling was the result of a complaint filed by Billy Ray Casto of Lincoln County, who said he was beaten by Trooper Joe Parsons with fists and a flashlight.
Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, said she wants to learn a little more about the bill before the vote on Tuesday.
"The substance of the bill is there," she said. "We just want to make sure we protect officers that do good work."
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.