Friday, April 9, 2010

Tip Line

Memphis Crimestoppers worker warned suspected killer to flee » The Commercial Appeal

When people have knowledge of a criminal act, they can call Crimestoppers and report the criminal, and receive a reward, all anonymously. In this case, the person who took the call information passed the information on to a third part so the could notify the suspected murderer that the police were on to him. The suspect was able to escape police.

The person who released this confidential information was a police recruit on medical leave! There is so much wrong with this incident. The police recruit may not have had a proper background check done on him if he is the sort of person who consorts with murderers. His friends, relatives and neighbors needed to be contacted about his relationships and any criminal ties investigated before he started the police academy. He should also have been trained in how to handle confidential information. Certainly, he could also have released the information about the person who phoned into the tip line. Now the informant may even be in danger.

This also reinforces my belief that police department employees should have their background checks renewed every few years so that any bad apples can be discovered an removed. It is a common practice in the military for people to have their background check updated every few years. At the very least every officer should have his motor vehicle record checked, a drug test and a check for warrants and credit check done every year. This is quick, easy and inexpensive and can flag officers who should not be wearing the badge anymore; that's what the SGT Says.


Bob G. said...

I know this is done in the federal government, but it's usually a "trickle-UP" proposition.

The bottom level employees get basic screenings, and are updated pertinent to length of time served.
(typically yearly)
As you clinb the ladder, and become privy to more "sensitive" material, the updates become more numerous and comprehensive (which is only natural)...and random.

Any "glitch" that shows up (and it can be a simple as a parking ticket) might not be grounds for dismissal, but can often cost someone a "level" of security classification...or more.

And one thing you were NEVER allowed to do was look up or type in YOUR SSN. That would bring 2security personnel right to your terminal.
Saw it happen to a colleague once, and it was by accident (another number was one digit off from his)
That's the way the Treasury Department worked, anyway.

In this day and age, we need to be even MORE aware, which is good, as long as it doesn't detract from the task at hand.

I'm one of those people that believe that whatever OATH you take means something and that you're BOUND by it...until someone "unswears you"...
Others...not so much.

Good post.

Bunkermeister said...

That's right Bob G. These days, even a common police dispatcher has access to loads of private sensitive information in data bases.