Topeka A legislative committee Monday endorsed a bill that would require citizens to identify themselves to authorities under certain circumstances.
"I think the committee actually at this point is only going to make one recommendation," said Sen. Jay Emler, R-Lindsborg, vice chairman of the House-Senate Kansas Security Committee.
"What we're talking about is a bill that deals with stopping suspects : to seek identification if there's reason to believe that they are committing, have committed or are about to be engaged in criminal activities," Emler said.
Current law allows suspects to conceal their identities in some circumstances, he said.
"Right now, if you're stopped, you don't have to say who you are. You can give John Doe as your name when it's really Jim Smith," Emler said.
"What this requires is that you say who you are."
Committee Chairman Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita, said having a suspect's name would allow the officer to check it with criminal databases.
The proposed legislation also would give police further power, he said.
"If the officer has reason to believe that his or her personal safety requires it, the officer may frisk the individual for firearms or other weapons. In other words (the bill is) to protect the officer's safety," Goico said after Monday's committee meeting.
But Emler said the proposal would maintain some limits on police.
"If a guy is standing in front of a pawn shop window with a brick in his hand, that would be something suspicious and you could stop and ask him for identification," he said. "If the guy is standing there looking at rings in the pawn shop window then (police can't) try and get his identification."
The committee will recommend the proposal to the 2006 Legislature, which begins Jan. 9.