A spokes person for the mayor of West Palm Beach last week has posted sensitive and secret police records over a period of 3 days on the city web site. These police records detailed federal and local investigations. Records include ID’s of confidential informants, drug sting targets and officers working under cover. Identities revealed can imperil lives. The police records are amongst the most sensitive and guarded within the police department and they are working frantically to put the situation right while city officials deliberate.
The mayor released a statement on Monday implicating her spokes person as releasing the police records. This as a result of a public records request over issues with the city’s CCTV system prior to any opportunity to redact. The police records were made available as received and it would appear the relevant departments failed to review prior. The process is now under review to to determine changes required. No information was provided as to responsible departments and/or how the police records ended up on it’s site.
The police records include a DEA email directed to numerous police officers (both West palm Beach and Federal) detailing a drug meet prior to it being made in early September. The email included the target’s name along with his vehicle details and address. Also included were the names of officers on surveillance duties. However arguably the most alarming of all was the female undercover informant selling the drugs along with her address. Further emails highlighted other ongoing cases along with confidential informants. Another email highlighted 2 other operations that were currently ongoing and a wish to have the FBI involved along with a state wide task force.
How many saw the police records and/or had an opportunity to download them is not known. The records amounted to over two thousand pages of emails that a reporter had requested over something entirely innocuous. In a break from policy the police records were posted on Tuesday and removed Friday afternoon. The spokes person posted the police records under transparency however the it was seen widely as a move against reporters. The full story can be read by following this link.
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