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Audit: Kansas’ civil forfeiture laws too vague

Associated Press - August 27, 2016 6:18 pm

An audit has found some Kansas law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of vague state forfeiture laws to use those proceeds to pay for salaries and other apparent operating expenses.

An audit has found some Kansas law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of vague state forfeiture laws to use those proceeds to pay for salaries and other apparent operating expenses.

The practice creates an incentive for increased seizures, especially in times when agency budgets are tight.

Kansas is among a few states that do not require a person be convicted of a crime before their property can be forfeited.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the findings of the audit, which was released last month, “deeply, deeply troubling.”

Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police lobbyist Ed Klumpp countered the audit didn’t reveal any misappropriation of funds and said not being able to use the laws would “be a loss in our ability to deter crime in Kansas.”