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Cops criticized for 'misuse' of databases

With just a couple of keystrokes, a cop can go from curiosity to a felony


By Allison Manning
The Columbus Dispatch

Police databases such as the Law Enforcement Automated Database System, or LEADS, are supposed to be used solely for law-enforcement purposes -- running the license plate of a suspicious driver, for example.

But sometimes, like any other trove of information, it's misused. Officers can use the databases like their own Facebook, or worse. In some cases, those trusted with keeping the public safe have used the databases to get revenge.

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