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Union criticizes LAPD for lax security in storing confidential records [Updated]

October 15, 2009 |  3:19 pm

Errant-files

Union officials criticized Los Angeles Police Department officials today for two recent incidents in which confidential paperwork pertaining to criminal investigations or personnel was found unsecured at police stations.

Hundreds of boxes of case materials found this week in the corridors of an LAPD station in Glassell Park and a parking structure at a southwest-area station constituted "a massive breach of security," said Paul Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

"A 'Do Not Remove' sign and crime scene tape hardly qualifies as appropriate security measures for such sensitive information," Weber said today. "The LAPD management of confidential material falls woefully short, leaving officers and now crime victims exposed to identity thieves and even worse. I wish these were isolated incidents, but sadly they are not."

Officials said the boxes contained detailed criminal case materials, such as search warrants, detective logs and victim and witness information. They included Social Security numbers and addresses and officers' personal information pertaining to overtime.

Labels on the boxes included "City Attorney," "Evidence," "Money," "Analyzed Evidence" and "Warrants served prior to 2008."

[Updated at 4:27 p.m.: LAPD Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell said today that the department is working to ensure that it protects the privacy of its officers and those involved in criminal investigations.

“We hope to work with the union and their membership to ensure the privacy of personnel documents,” McDonnell said. “If it’s a training issue, we will address it as such. We’ve already reached out to commanding officers around the city to make sure all appropriate measures are being taken to safeguard these sensitive materials, including documents that pertain to criminal investigations.”]

The information about the officers has been a particular sore spot with union officials. In February, the Los Angeles Police Commission posted a confidential report on the Internet that contained the names of hundreds of officers accused of racial profiling and other misconduct.

--Andrew Blankstein

Photo credit: Los Angeles Police Protective League

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