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  • Ethics Question

    A police officer was at my neighbor's house on Saturday. It didn't appear that anything was going on. They didn't show up with lights and sirens blazing, just pulled up and an officer went inside. They stayed for a little while and left, no one was arrested or anything like that. My wife and I wondered what was up, but would never think of going over there and acting like nosy neighbors, ask if everything was ok, etc.

    There is another lady on my street who talks to this one particular police officer quite a bit. Everytime she drives down our street, she stops and sometimes even gets out and sits on the steps for a few minutes, sometimes for up to an hour just talking.

    Well, the police officer told my other neighbor what they were there for on Saturday and now it is all over the neighborhood. It's nothing really, but it is embarassing to the people that are involved in the situation. No laws were broken or anything like that, it's more of a domestic situation.

    My question is; should this police officer be telling others in the neighborhood what the problem was? Aren't there confidentiality laws or is everything like this a matter of public record?

    My feeling is that the officer shouldn't have told her what was going on. It's nobody's business but the people that were involved. If the guy was running a meth lab out of his home, or he was busted with child porn or something, then fine, but the situation wasn't anything remotely close to that.

    What do you guys think?
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  • #2
    I agree. If a law was broken then that's ok to talk but if not, as you describe, shutup Copper!


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    • #3
      Shouldnt have said anything, but I dont know if there is a confidentiality rule with police officers. As an attorney, I would presume that they also must not divulge such information.
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      • #4
        If you want something known to the masses there are three ways to go aboot it.

        1) Telephone
        2) Telegraph
        3) Tell a cop

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        • #5
          QUOTE(Celtic @ Oct 26 2005, 08:41 AM) Quoted post

          If you want something known to the masses there are three ways to go aboot it.

          1) Telephone
          2) Telegraph
          3) Tell a cop
          4) Tell the ex-mayor about a marathon problem with the local train supervisor.
          [/b][/quote]

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          • #6
            so....why were they there?

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            • #7
              QUOTE(Dr.Gonzo @ Oct 26 2005, 09:09 AM) Quoted post

              so....why were they there?
              [/b][/quote]
              I didn't want to be the one to ask.
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              • #8
                My thoughts.

                A - the blabby neighbor may have made it up. No guarantee the cop told her jack. After all who will ask the cop if he did. The neighbor may have told her.
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                • #9
                  Once the police are called, it's a matter of public record.

                  If they didn't want it to be known, don't call a cop.
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                  • #10
                    QUOTE(BringBackZezel @ Oct 26 2005, 09:27 AM) Quoted post

                    Once the police are called, it's a matter of public record.

                    If they didn't want it to be known, don't call a cop.
                    [/b][/quote]

                    probably true......now...spill it Elvis. We're all a bunch of Gladys Kravitzes around here.

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                    • #11
                      Cops don't have ethics. They are driven by and respond to power and authority, not right or wrong.
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                      • #12
                        QUOTE(lazydaze @ Oct 26 2005, 09:36 AM) Quoted post

                        Cops don't have ethics. They are driven by and respond to power and authority, not right or wrong.
                        [/b][/quote]


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                        • #13
                          QUOTE(ElviswasaBluesFan @ Oct 26 2005, 08:35 AM) Quoted post

                          My question is; should this police officer be telling others in the neighborhood what the problem was? Aren't there confidentiality laws or is everything like this a matter of public record?
                          [/b][/quote]

                          No laws regarding confidentiality as far as I know. That said he should not be talking about why he was there.
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                          • #14
                            QUOTE
                            Confidentiality

                            Whatever a police officer sees, hears or learns of that is of a confidential nature will be kept secret unless the performance of duty or legal provision requires otherwise. Members of the public have a right to security and privacy, and information obtained about them must not be improperly divulged. [/b][/quote]

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                            • #15
                              QUOTE(Schwahalala @ Oct 26 2005, 09:24 AM) Quoted post

                              My thoughts.

                              A - the blabby neighbor may have made it up. No guarantee the cop told her jack. After all who will ask the cop if he did. The neighbor may have told her.
                              [/b][/quote]

                              No, the story the cop told her adds up. The wife went out of town, wasn't where she was supposed to be, the husband called the cops in the other town to find her. They did, and she wasn't where she was supposed to be if you catch my drift. The cops here came over to take her statement since another department was used to track her down.

                              Apparently, they issued an APB so there was paperwork that needed to be completed.

                              Like I said, no broken laws, but embarrassing to the husband and wife involved. Something that the whole neighborhood doesn't need to know. Plus, I like my neighbors, they're just having some difficulty right now. It happens to a lot of people and the cop didn't need to be spreading their dirty laundry all over the neighborhood. Especially to someone who sticks her nose into everything.
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