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When should police records be destroyed?

Original post made on Feb 16, 2012

How long is long enough to retain records of citizen complaints against police officers, or internal investigations of police officers' on-the-job actions?

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 16, 2012, 11:57 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm

"But Councilwoman Kathy McKeithen was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of destroying the records, especially when Chief Flint, responding to her questions, said that some of the records involved officers still on the force, and that storage space for the records wasn't a problem."

Since storage space isn't a problem, destroying 10 five-year-old cases involving citizen complaints or questionable behavior by officers that led to investigations, should be the last thing Chief Flint is interested in doing.

Transparency is the way to go.............good meeting


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Posted by Nothing ever enough
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:43 am

This shows nothing will ever be enough for Kathy McKeithen or John Buckheit. Even when they admit Ed Flint has made some really bad moves in the police department that they like, because of their vendetta against it, they still complain and want trivial complaints around forever. This isn't transparency, it's a vendetta.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

Lets all HOPE that "Nothing ever enough" is not an Atherton Police Officer.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

It is telling that Chief Flint notes: "the department is retaining some records that are older than five years because they involve an officer or officers he considers "problematic."

I am extremely glad that there now appears to be someone overseeing the department in a functional fashion, something that has been lacking in the past.


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Posted by Tim Wulff
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

I wish there were more people like resident.

The issue has always been empowered citizen oversight of the Police Department.

The only people who look into their affairs are carefully selected members of their club, such as the Oakland officer, when Oakland PD is being looked at very hard by FBI and there is talk of direct intervention.

FBI has its eye on things here too, and there may yet remain an open investigation file on Dean, mightn't there.

Maybe the Council and the Citizenry will embrace their fear, move through the intimidating comments and actions and finally begin to do what is clearly necessary here, i.e. begin to truly work together with the force in openness, cooperation and true mutual respect. Officers are just people too, and so many are very good people. The real issue is the need for oversight, openness and recognition of the rights of and need for an empowered citizenry involved law enforcement affairs.


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Posted by Big news
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 18, 2012 at 11:06 am

The big news here is that even after the recent "retirement" of one problem officer and the demotion of the problematic dispatch supervisor, Flint still acknowledges there are "problematic" officers in the APD.

Wow.


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Posted by lisa
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

How about the APD join the modern world and copy the reports onto a DVD or CD. That
would take up about 6 inches of space.

Or they could wait until they have the new 20,000 sq. ft. building. Then they would have plenty of room.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Col. Flint has already said that storage space is a non issue....plenty of space for these files.


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Posted by Some Guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I'm betting cops just don't want a running tally on their complaints and misbehavior.


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Posted by Doug
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Did no one pay attention to the fact that, in her own words at the council meeting, Kathy McKeithen stated that she got her ideas re retention of police records from watching "Law & Order?" Is this how our leaders develop realistic policies?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Doug, asks "Is this how our leaders develop realistic policies?"

There is a big difference between ideas and policies, according to you she got her ideas re:retention of police records from Law & Order.

Another idea she had was to ask a great question of Police Chief Ed. Flint, Is this a space issue for Atherton, How much space is required to maintain these records. The good news is it was not a space issue at all.


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Posted by ALICE
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

A blind and deaf man could see through this effort to cover up the past of ANY police files being destroyed.

Corruption is part of politics and protection which people defend in case their names are involved where they have escaped detection.

This is a perfect time to act because of the problems facing the entire COUNTY.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"A blind and deaf man could see through this effort to cover up the past of ANY police files being destroyed."

This entire process has been conducted with full public disclosure, scrutiny and comment - only the blind and the deaf would find basis for disapproval.

Our current Police Chief has consistently demonstrated a high standard of both conduct and disclosure - to suggest other wise is being blind and deaf.


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Posted by Tim Wulff
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Peter,

Reasonable people do not throw out generalized accusations of corruption, so I agree with your comment resisting such characterization.

However, it is unclear what you mean by 'the entire process'. Could you clarify?

Also, is it not equally invalid through non-specific overstatement to characterize your opponent as 'deaf and blind'? Seems vague and imprecise and carries with it the sense of a rude tone.

Isn't it true also, that given the history of the department over the last 8 - 10 years, that such a request is at best imprudent given the environment? and in terms of public opinion, clearly 'sends the wrong message to the public' regarding the intention of the department to be exposed and culpable to those who employ them, i.e. The Citizens.

My best to you. And keep pluggin'. Its clear where your allegiances lie. And that does not appear to be with the interests of citizen empowerment and oversight of this department.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"characterize your opponent as 'deaf and blind'"

I carefully did not so characterize any individual - if the shoe fits....

" citizen empowerment and oversight of this department."

I heartily endorse both citizen empowerment and oversight of the police department.

This entire process was done was both full disclosure and opportunity for public oversight and comment.


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