1. Caveriver

    Caveriver Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Missouri

    Confidentiality limitations for a retired cop?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Caveriver, Nov 23, 2016.

    Of course a active duty police investigator would not reveal information on an open investigation, but I'm wondering if the same constrainsts would apply to a retired cop on a cold (four years old) case??

    Thanks, in advance.
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,676
    What kind of information, to whom is the information being revealed, was it information she gained while on the job or after her retirement, what is her goal in revealing it, what crime is involved?

    And do you mean would she be legally allowed to share the information (in which case we'll need to know more about the jurisdiction, I would think) or would she be able to ethically justify it to herself (in which case you'll probably have to answer the question yourself based on your knowledge of the character)?
     
  3. Caveriver

    Caveriver Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Missouri
    This would be details of how a murder victim was killed (ME reports, and the like), being revealed to a TV reporter. We are talking small town, local cop- probably a sheriff deputy, talking about a case she worked pre-retirement.
    So yes, I guess I am wondering about the legal allowances. Ethically, I don't see an issue for the cop. It's a cold case in which the murder also died at the scene, and there was no proof of any partners or conspirators-- so, technically, this could even be a CLOSED case. Would that change the legal restraints on what the cop can disclose to the media, if questioned?
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,676
    You'll have to look at your jurisdiction to be sure, but at least in some places (most places?) the ME report would be public record.

    Lots of police officers write books about their cases, post-retirement, so especially if the case has been resolved, I can't see what would prevent the character from sharing with a reporter.
     
    Caveriver likes this.
  5. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    South Florida
    The information a cop gets in investigations isn't the same as classified information one might obtain working in intelligence (as a civilian) drug enforcement (knowledge of agent identities or, ongoing surveillance such as extensive wire-tapping operations...as a civilian) or the military through your work (need to know.) A retired cop is a citizen and all citizens are "allowed" (not restricting something isn't the same as allowing it, by the way - at least not in the land of inalienable rights) to discuss law enforcement matters in their communities, and are actually encouraged to take an active interest. To refute, or marginalize someone publicly stating information on a case, the police departments have the luxury of saying, "He's retired. He no longer has access to information on this case."

    For law enforcement a huge exception would be the FBI and its involvement in long-term investigations involving intelligence matters, and other such things which fall under the standard classification system. When leaving federal service which involved handling classified information one signs an agreement not to discuss, or publish information that is classified, and is briefed such disclosures could involve arrest and possible imprisonment.

    A work which recently received such scrutiny was one written by a former Navy SEAL purporting to tell the "true" story of Osama Bin Laden's assassination. There are many instances of former CIA employees wishing to write books on their careers, as well. A process is established whereby former CIA people can run their work past the CIA and actually get material cleared for publication if the agency sees it as not a threat to ongoing operations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  6. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    18,470
    Likes Received:
    6,978
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Caveriver likes this.
  7. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,854
    Likes Received:
    11,676
    That's a really useful resource!

    OP, are you writing in the US? If not, you'll need to keep searching, but if your setting is American, I think you've got a great start.
     
  8. Caveriver

    Caveriver Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Missouri
    Thanks for this! I found something similar online, but it's not as thorough as this link!

    Yes, in the US. This all definitely helps me get an idea. I guess I tend to just believe whatever a writer (or show) says to be legal in an instance like this, but when I needed to use the situation myself, I realized I know exactly nothing about how these things actually work.

    Thanks, all!
     
    GingerCoffee likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice