Police records compromised

By Patrick Wade

The newly inaugurated Champaign City Council faced a frustrated Champaign patrol officer Tuesday night, as he expressed his annoyance with the way the city handled a recent donation of a computer to charity.

The computer in question came from the police department and contained the names and social security numbers of 139 officers.

The police department follows a hard-disk cleansing process to remove that type of data, but this computer missed that clean-up, Champaign Information Technologies Director Fred Halenar said.

Mark Medlyn, the patrol officer who addressed the council, said he received a letter from the city explaining what happened and what he could do to protect himself.

“I find this to be quite frankly a slap to my face,” Medlyn said.

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Medlyn said he feels the city is not being “proactive” enough to protect the officers whose personal information was on the computer.

Halenar said the first step for the city was to do what was required by law – explaining, in writing, to those involved what happened and why.

The hard-disk of the computer was recovered, Halenar said, and the city is now continuing its efforts to protect the officers by making sure no other personal information was on the hard-disk,

“Once we found something, we had to check the whole drive, so it can be a rather lengthy process,” Halenar said.

He added that the department will now implement a “two-step, internal process” to make sure that no computers are released with personal information in the future.