Delaware OKs Access To Database, Shields Officers

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The Delaware legislature has approved public access to Delaware’s criminal justice database while shielding the names of police officers from disclosure, says the Wilmington News Journal. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner will sign it.

The legislation was a compromise between the Delaware Justice Information System and The News Journal. The newspaper has sought access to the database, known as DELJIS, to analyze 10 years’ worth of felony and misdemeanor records.

Officers in the database will be assigned a permanent random number. The numbers can be tracked for computer analysis, but the officers’ names will be shielded. Information on where arrests were made and police actions that did not result in convictions will be made public. Officers’ names will continue to be available in arrest and court records filed in criminal cases.

Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, called the legislative outcome “better than nothing. I think it’s still overprotective of the officers’ privacy, but it’s more than it would have been if you hadn’t been able to come up with a compromise.”

Link: http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2004/04/09houseokspublica.html

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