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Need to Pick a Texas Offficer's Brain


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  • Need to Pick a Texas Offficer's Brain

    Need an interpretation re Texas Government Code Sec. 552.117.

    It says confidentiality is afforded to former officials or employees of a governmental body. Does that include retired, out of state police officers?

    If so, what happens when you run a reg check on their vehicles or DL? What shows up on the screen?


    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

  • #2
    I haven't read that statute, and I'm only going by what you put there. I don't think that has anything to do with what is seen on a screen when a registration return pops up. I don't ever remember any redacted or lack on information on any return I have ever received, and I stopped tons of people and have run countless vehicles. Also, when I ran someone for warrants or a license/id card check, there is no information but the basics. There is no personal information like a person is an officer, a state judge, etc. However, our CAD has any additional information which is added by officers, but that, at the time I was in, was only accessed by dispatch and the information provided at the request of the officer in the field.

    If I stopped a vehicle, and let's say the registration said "State Judge" on it. The registration would just come back to the judge, and would probably have his name, address and vehicle information like anyone else. There wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary other than the type of license plate it was. If I ran that judge for warrants or a DL check, all of the information would be just like anyone else. Let's say I ask dispatch for a CAD history on the judge's name, telephone number, vehicle registration etc, they may have information like someone calling from that number reporting a DWI driver, that registration was checked at a certain time and day at a particular location, etc. Also, may have warning information like: Judge So and So becomes aggressive towards LE when stopped, etc. Nothing nefarious going on here.

    I retired 5 years ago, but I can't imagine this has changed too much since I've been gone.


    • #3
      I guess our confidentiality statutes are different.

      Out here, because gang and other criminal associates have been able to penetrate public safety employment and gain access to DMV info, a number of public safety employees and retirees can have confidentiality assigned to their DMV records. This keeps a banger's girlfriend, who is a dispatcher, from outing a cop or his family and disclosing where he lives to someone who doesn't need to know. If you run my license plate or DL it will come back with most pertinent information, but where home address information is located, it just gives my agency name. If another department wants to know where I live, they have to call my agency and demonstrate a need to know or send a court order to m,y state's DMV.

      The Texas statute I posted seems to suggest the same might be available to folks in your state if they apply for it and the section was broadly worded enough to suggest it might apply to retired out of state cops. Just wanted to check.

      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


      • #4
        At least CA does SOMETHING right...for now. I expect that to be removed due to “privilege” soon.
        Now go home and get your shine box!


        • L-1
          L-1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Getting info can be tough and people are extremely sensitive when you do. I got a personnel complaint on someone driving an unmarked cold plated car. The complainant insisted it was someone from my department because the event occurred in my jurisdiction. I knew it wasn't us because the uniform was different and we don't have uniforms driving unmarked cold plated cars. Our policy was to refer the matter to the agency in question for disposition.

          Naturally, DMV wouldn't tell me which department the cold plate was issued to, so I asked them to have someone from the agency in question call me. The next thing I knew, I got a call from a very angry SWAT Commander from another department wanting to know why I was trying to ID one of his cold plates. He calmed down when I told him why.

      • #5
        It is new to me so I will look into it. I’m doing a ride along this weekend, and I will pick the officer’s brain on this.

        I don’t know the whole story, but our department found out one of our crime scene technicians had ties to a criminal motorcycle club so they searched her house. I wouldn’t say we were friends, but we talked a lot each time she came out to our crime scenes. I thought we were buddies, but that all went down the tubes when they found my personal information as well as a few other officers in her house. I was told that she was providing that information to this biker gang. I was furious since I take the safety of my family quite seriously. When it is someone in your department, it is almost impossible to protect against that.

        Also, we filled out forms long ago to keep us anonymous on the property tax rolls. I see it is still going on here in the new area I moved to. I don’t know if that is all just one service or it is one out of several where LEOs’ personal information is removed - similar to what you are referring to in this thread.


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