Top 10 List Of
Police Database Abuses
Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect
and serve,but corrupt cops misuse police databases to
get dates and even plan murders.

By James Hamilton and Steve Blum

Your address, telephone number, Social Security number, date of birth, criminal record -- all this information and more can be accessed by cops if they have basic information about you. Not surprisingly, some cops abuse their privilege and use their database access for less-than-honorable reasons. This week on "CyberCrime" we show you how some corrupt cops used police databases to harass exes, get telephone numbers of pretty girls they see in cars, and even plan murders!
These abuses happen in law enforcement departments around the world. With the help of and the Detroit Free Press, we've collected 10 stories where corrupt cops have used databases for less-than-honorable reasons in police departments in Michigan, California, Ohio, and even as far away as Australia.
Some groups say that these cases represent a small percentage of the actual number of abuses. Indeed, how many cops do you think are willing to rat out their colleagues when they commit these abuses? Who's supposed to police the police?
Cop Suspected of Using Database to Plan Murder of Ex-wife
A State Police detective whose estranged wife was shot dead at a Michigan zoo admitted using the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) to check on his wife and her acquaintances, according to Lansing police search warrant requests. Although the detective is not suspected of pulling the trigger, the Lansing, Michigan, police department says it believes he knows who shot his wife a month after she filed for divorce. Read the full story.
Rookie Cop Checks on 'Potential Girlfriends':
6,900 Database Searches in Only Two Months
An Australian constable new to the beat used the police database to check on potential girlfriends. In just over two months the then 20-year-old policeman performed an unprecedented 6,900 searches on the police database. The counsel assisting the case says that of those 6,900 searches at least 300 weren't connected to official duties. Read the full news story.
FBI Files Sold to Mob and International Criminals by
Nevada Attorney General's Office Employee and Former FBI Agent
Dubbed the "Secrets for Sale Scandal" by the Las Vegas media, an attorney general's office worker and a former FBI agent were caught selling information from the FBI NCIC database to organized crime syndicates and other criminals for more than $100,000.
The office worker and the former agent sold documents containing classified information about organized crime investigations, white collar crime investigations, and investigations involving international alien smuggling. These documents were sold to members of organized crime syndicates in New York and to an FBI informant. One defendant's phone records also shows that he had communications with people in Mexico and Cuba and his passport listed recent visits to the drug cartel cities of Medellin and Bogota, Colombia.
The former agent worked for the Las Vegas FBI for several years and had access to national security and electronic surveillance information as well as data on confidential informants and witnesses stored in the FBI's nationwide computer system. Read the story.
Indiana PD Banned From FBI Database
The Highland, Indiana, police department had its access to the state's FBI database suspended due to misuse. The revocation of Highland's access to the Indiana Data and Communications System (IDACS), the state's portal into the National Crime Information Center, is believed to be the first such suspension in at least a decade. State police auditors claim that local investigators had been using the system to run checks on contractors and door-to-door solicitors in direct violation of IDACS policy, and continued to do so even after being warned. Read the story.
Political Candidates Probed by Police Chief
The city attorney in Eastpointe, Michigan, is looking into allegations that the police chief and city manager violated state law by using the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) to check the backgrounds of candidates for an ethics committee. The mayor ordered the investigation after it was revealed that the city manager and police chief may have violated state regulations governing LEIN use by checking backgrounds of eight people considered for a volunteer committee created by the city council. Many people were surprised to find that first-time misuse of the LEIN is not a crime. Read the full story.
Police Investigated for Using Database to
Target Organizers of Sheriff-Recall Campaign
Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall investigated a county sheriff department after receiving a complaint that the department did criminal background checks on two organizers of a petition attempting to recall the sheriff. Read the full news story.
Prosecutor's Office Uses Database to Smear Prosecutor's Political Opponent
The Butler County Republican Party has asked the county commissioners to investigate allegations that an employee in the prosecutor's office misused a state database to obtain information about his boss's political opponent. Read the full news story.
Police Lieutenant Charged With Abusing Database to Influence Elections
In Maryland, a Charles County sheriff's lieutenant faces criminal charges for misusing the sheriff's computer system on behalf of local Democrats connected with elections. He is charged by sheriff's officials with 102 violations of departmental rules relating to the abuse, according to court documents filed in Charles County Circuit Court. Read the full story.
Cop Uses Database to Find Woman's Unlisted Phone Number --
Gives It to Woman's Ex
A Brisbane, Australia, police officer admitted to giving a local businessman the personal details of his ex-girlfriend. The investigator told the court how the woman, whose name has been suppressed, complained earlier that an ex-boyfriend had called her unlisted home phone number. The senior police constable admitted to providing the woman's personal details. Despite twice denying in previous CJC interviews to handing over the silent number, Constable Crawford changed his evidence.
Cop Fired for Abusing Database, Chief Accused as Well
The town of Atherton, California, has ruled that a former police officer should not get his job back after alleged misuse of the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS). He is also accused of violating a restraining order and destroying personal property in a case involving his ex-girlfriend, and reportedly using the database to find information about her. The CLETS system, administered by the California Department of Justice, is a database containing information ranging from driving records to criminal records. Following the firing, the officer accused Atherton's police chief of also misusing the CLETS system.,24330,3387549,00.html


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