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Criminal Histories


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  • Criminal Histories

    My department does not allow criminal history dissemination via radio. I know of several departments that give out criminal histories every time a name is run through LEADS, due to the obvious officer safety issues, and I'm pretty sure there is nothing in the law that prohibits it. Does anyone know of any case law pertaining to criminal histories and their use in law enforcement activities?

    I'm trying to put something together to get my department to change their policy.
    Last edited by goosethebird; 09-13-2011, 04:42 AM.

  • #2
    Sounds like the PC bird has crapped on you.

    Use codes.

    Signal 5 .......................... wanted
    Signal 5 Adam .................wanted armed
    Signal 5 David ..................Drugs
    Signal 5 Victor..................vehicle theft

    Last edited by OneAdam12; 09-13-2011, 08:54 AM.
    Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."


    • #3
      I dont think he is talking about the person being wanted. I think its more about, you just ran a guy and he comes back valid/not wanted, but has a history of assault etc. ISP disseminates previous criminal history over the radio when you run a subject. Having said that however, we normally dont run a person over the radio unless he is already under arrest and we are beginning transport or if we run them through LEADS in our car and come back wanted.

      There is definetely not a law against it. Sometimes its annoying but if you are standing outside of your car and trying to figure out who are dealing with, its helpful.


      • #4
        I think information on prior convictions should be available.


        • #5
          Technically, LEADS administrative rules prohibit the running of a CQH unless XYZ criterion are met. So basically, if the officer only asks for the 27, and you run the CQH anyway, you are "fishing," which is prohibited (technically).

          As far as putting it out, there are no statutes or administrative rules against it; I've always given the CQH over the air. These guys should know when someone has priors for resisting, battery to PO, or homicide (which happens more often than you'd like to think) for example. Also, there are aliases attached to the history and those may come back 99 so we should be running them in real time. Considering where you work, I'm surprised that they have that policy.
          Last edited by ModerateLiberal; 09-13-2011, 10:56 AM.


          • #6
            Criminal Histories should be available to field units. From what I've heard over the years, the problem comes in when all things considered equal on a stop, the CQH causes the person to be detained and or arrested. As long as it's used as an informational tool and not as the basis for the Stop/arrest. If an arrest is made, the P/O may have to explain in trial how the CQH was NOT a factor in the arrest.

            For instance, a stop on a guy and he has a screwdriver on him. A CQH reveals an extensive arrest record for burglary and PSMV. Do you arrest for burglary tools? (in actuality, at least in Cook Co. unless he is actually using that tool to attempt a burg, you won't get charges approved on it).

            Another exmple, a CQH reveals multiple arrest for UUW/ or PSC. It may make the P/O further investigate the stop for the presense of a weapon/drugs on / in the vicinity of the subject.

            That was the reason that CQH were not given out over the air.
            Last edited by ChiTownDet; 09-13-2011, 11:13 AM.


            • #7
              With my dept the only kind of histories that can be disseminated are assaults on a police officer or IV drug use. Anything else, in my opinion, does more harm than good. If you make a Terry stop with a bias or agenda of some sort it could open you up to some 4th amendment violations.


              • #8
                I think a lot depends on whether you are broadcasting on an encrypted radio system or not.

                I've been retired for a long time so I can't get my hands on the NCIC manuals, but here is a rough version of what I remember.

                Conviction data from courthouse records is public information, however, rap sheet information from NCIC and state criminal histories is not. Instead, it is limited to specifically enumerated criminal justice personnel only. If NCIC or state criminal history information is broadcast over a radio system the public or an unauthorized person is capable of monitoring, then there is the potential for an unauthorized (and unlawful) release of information. OTOH, if you are using an encrypted radio system and no unauthorized receivers have been given to the press, fire or ambulance dispatch, or any non-law enforcement personnel who are not authorized to receive criminal history information, then it is OK to broadcast over the air.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


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