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Monday, October 17, 2011

Missing Fingerprints, Medical Records, SSN’s, Police Cars, Unexplained Money… and this is the Police Department

Deputy Chief Katrina Graue, Administrative Services Group, sent out a most tortuously-written memo to all CMPD sworn employees on September 23rd, 2011 (note:year corrected from earlier post typo), carefully explaining the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Police Department was scheduled for its “first on-site audit from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards Division” on September 26th.  citynewswatch has independently obtained a copy of the most unusually and carefully worded memo from DC Graue to all CMPD sworn employees.
She states that in “anticipation” of this audit, they went about gathering up documents.  Apparently some time directly proximate to this preparation for the audit, hundreds of personnel records of various description were acknowledged missing.  There has been no explanation for what prompted this “first-ever audit” or how it was discovered that at least some records are gone, but this letter and other known emails sent definitely indicate that is the case. 
Deputy Chief Graue went on with a long, tortured explanation of how there had been changes of documentation requirements in the past thirty years. 

Documentation requirement changes have absolutely nothing to do with losing hundreds of personal, identifying, security, documents which is clearly acknowledged in the paragraph that followed:

We have various checks and balances in place. While the specific form requested by the State may not be in the file, there are other documents that may satisfy the State’s requirement. For example, a fingerprint card completed at hiring may not be in the file, but there is a document showing a national criminal history was run on the applicant.  There may not be a medical report from a doctor.  However, there is documentation indicating the applicant was physically fit for employment as a police officer. We will not be able to determine what documentation is acceptable until the State arrives and completes their audit.   (emphasis added)

And this equally camouflaged statement:

CMPD maintains all our personnel are currently certified through the State and our officers continue to meet standards required by the state to maintain their state certifications.  (emphasis added)
Does this mean that even after numerous officers were forced to have their fingerprints redone because of the loss of records under this command staff, some may still be under threat of losing their certifications, their job security, benefits, and who knows what other repercussions?  When will the results of this audit be released?  What measures are being taken by Chief Monroe to clean up this security issue in his house, and to address the needs of his officers?  Is Curt Walton taking action for additional oversight in his position as City Manager?  What about Mayor Foxx and City Council in their oversight positions of Walton, all of whom continue to smile and say how they have such confidence in Chief Monroe’s ability and background?

Graue’s memo goes on to make this statement:

We want to assure our officers that no sensitive or personal information has been compromised in any way.    

How can you say there's no sensitive or personal information compromised in any way if fingerprints are missing (which is clearly indicated) and medical records are missing (also clearly indicated)?  There's no mention of SSN's, but who has ever filled out a medical form without giving a SSN, birth date, phone number, and address, in addition to possibly very sensitive medical background?  Also, fingerprints of an unknown number of officers are clearly missing, with unpredictable consequences.

Regardless of any other possible information that's missing, It's clear that at least SOME number of those two things are missing.

Emails forwarded to citynewswatch show the informed officials of the City that have refused requests made under public records law to find out what records are missing, how it was discovered, what agency is investigating, and more.  It looks like a good topic for upcoming investigation might be strictly public records law responses. 
They would not answer questions or give a copy of a known earlier email requiring at least some officers re-submit fingerprints for the academy files about a month ago. reported a records fail at the academy back on September 16th, and also a scathing letter issued by the Police Chief to a “main stream” reporter who dared to ask about a major security issue.  This is the same Chief who gives interview quotes he is at ease with running major national events, such as the Million Man March and two Presidential Inaugurations.  One might not think he’d get so bent out of shape with a simple press inquiry… unless it’s not that simple.
It’s a widely-known issue that CMPD Public Affairs will cut off information to reporters for the slightest slights… any issue that doesn’t fall in line with the image they want to promote.  Goals and Objectives of the City of Charlotte and of the CMPD are stated as “Increase Perception of Safety,” rather than to increase the actual safety.   
But it’s a rare event to have a personal email from the Chief himself warning you not to even ask about a story.  It should be shocking.  Imagine a reporter would ask about a story of importance to the community, and which we have a right to know about.   Media lists are regularly edited to remove those that are on another kind of list, if you know what I mean.

Among other things, program auditing involves conducting “on-site audits of agency files to ensure compliance with Commission rules.”  From DC Graue’s memo, this item seems to be very high on their list for coming to Charlotte’s Academy.  From the State’s DOJ website: questions or comments concerning the Commission's Investigative Unit, you may contact a staff members at the Criminal Justice Standards Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice.  For law enforcement inquiries, please contact Richard Squires at (919) 661-5980. 

Should we be surprised that the Leadership at CMPD who stated they don’t know where 50 of their brand new police cars disappeared has “lost” a great deal of paperwork?   Probably not.  Almost nothing is surprising from this Police Chief or the City Management that supports him.

Could this have to do with potentially damaging personnel records needed for review in lawsuits coming up, such as the Marcus Jackson cases still dogging CMPD and Chief Monroe?   Monroe admitted responsibility and suits have so far cost huge amounts of money—a few hundred thousand here, a few hundred thousand there… it adds up. That doesn’t count the attorney’s fees.  Or the trauma to the women and men involved.  Or the damage done to the department or the trust in the community.
This possible certification problem has to be another blow for morale on all counts, which is terrible for everyone’s safety.
Things are horribly wrong in the police department.  The City officials in charge of oversight are informed of this and continue to let it ride—in $5,000,000 worth of our brand new cars.

When will the results of this audit be complete?

“Please let me know if you have questions.     Katrina (Graue)”
Yes, there are many questions.
Just a few months ago, the City (that would be our money) spent $10,000 to pay CALEA for an on-site reaccreditation process, widely advertised as passed with flying colors.  CALEA is the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, and preaches “A team of CALEA-trained assessors visits the agency to determine compliance with standards, views agency operations, conducts a public information session, and reports its findings to the Commission for final determination of accreditation status.
Maintaining Compliance and Reaccreditation:   During its three-year accreditation award cycle, the agency must maintain compliance with applicable standards, keep its proofs of compliance up-to-date, and live by the letter and spirit of those standards. To retain its accredited status, the agency is required to submit to CALEA their appropriate accreditation continuation fees, as well as an annual report. Reaccreditation occurs at the end of the three years, following another successful on-site assessment and hearing before the Commission.
Does that mean that CALEA reviewed documentation for officers, and that everything was in order at the time of their February on-site review?  If so, what happened since then?  If not, was their certification completely worthless? states an on-site CALEA visit in January 2011.  Note that the single date scheduled for Citizen Input was canceled due to inclement weather and not rescheduled.  It seems like for once every three years, the group might have stayed in town or come back an extra day. reports that CMPD received their reaccreditation in March 2011, in glowing terms: with CALEA finding CMPD to be “ ‘well equipped, well managed, and well respected’ within our community.”
I’m not sure how they made this determination without speaking to anyone in a forum with the community.  Maybe Rodney Monroe just told them.


Multiple attempts to confirm or refute information directly with the information officers were completely ignored, including a statement that silence on the matter would be considered acknowledgment from CMPD, but we’re just left to speculate how severe the problem and the consequences.  Below are some of the questions submitted beginning September 16th, continuing through October 10th, then forwarded to citynewswatch.
You can see that since at least September 16th, documented public records questions were asked about what’s been happening.  The response?  Nothing.  

We are owed an answer if these records disappearing was intentional or negligent, or some other offer or reason will be given. 

-----Original Message-----
From: (name removed)
To: mshah-khan <>
Cc: bcunningham <>; rtufano <>; rmonroe <>; rfey <>; kmcmillan <>; afoxx <>; cwalton <>; DMcCarley <>; rhagemann <>; mnewbold <>; jemken

Sent: Mon,
Oct 10, 2011 2:28 pm
Subject: Re: PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST RE:State investigation/audit of CMPD

Mr. Shah-Khan,

You are the attorney in charge of PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS, correct?

I have contacted you because Captain Cunningham has not responded to the information request. It is inappropriate for you to say you will continue to support a city employee or employees to avoid following the law.

So I say again:

Please forward the e-mail or e-mails regarding the request for fingerprints that went out to police employees as specified below and give other information below. This holding back of public information must stop. This is public information, to be provided in a timely manner.

Thank you ahead of time for correcting this problem.

-----Original Message-----
From: Shah-Khan, Mujeeb <>
To: (name removed)
Cc: Cunningham, Brian <>; Tufano, Robert <>; Monroe, Rodney <>; Fey, Robert P. <>; McMillan, Kimberly A. <>; Foxx, Anthony R <>; Walton, Curt <>; McCarley, DeWitt <>; Hagemann, Robert <>; Newbold, Mark <>; Emken, Judy <>
Sent: Mon,
Oct 10, 2011 11:25 am
Subject: RE: PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST RE:State investigation/audit of CMPD

(name removed):
Thank you for your email. CMPD is handling this matter, and I will defer to Capt. Cunningham and the PIO office on your request.

S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan
FAX: 704.632.8326

From: (name removed)
Sent: Monday,
October 10, 2011 8:32 AM
To: Shah-Khan, Mujeeb
Cc: Cunningham, Brian; Tufano, Robert; Monroe, Rodney; Fey, Robert P.; McMillan, Kimberly A.; Foxx, Anthony R; Walton, Curt
Subject: Re: PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST RE:State investigation/audit of CMPD

Mr. Shah-Khan,

Please forward the e-mail or e-mails regarding the request for fingerprints that went out to police employees as specified below and give other information below. This holding back of public information must stop. This is public information, to be provided in a timely manner.

Thank you ahead of time for correcting this problem.

-----Original Message-----
From: (name removed)
To: bcunningham <>; rtufano <>; rmonroe <>; rfey <>; kmcmillan <>; afoxx <>

Sent: Mon,
Oct 3, 2011 3:29 pm

Subject: PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST RE:State investigation/audit of CMPD

I still have not received the requested e-mail or e-mails that went out asking police officers
to go and have their fingerprints redone in connection with the information below. I have also still not received the other associated information requested beginning September 16th. Please supply the information requested. Thank you very much.

-----Original Message-----
From: (name removed)
To: bcunningham <>
Sent: Mon,
Sep 26, 2011 11:29 am
Subject: Re: State investigation/audit of CMPD

Captain Cunningham,

Please provide a response.

Please also provide a copy of the memo that went out requesting for all the officers to go get their fingerprints re-done voluntarily.

Thank you.

-----Original Message-----
From: (name removed)
To: bcunningham <>
Sent: Tue,
Sep 20, 2011 5:37 pm
Subject: Re: State investigation/audit of CMPD

I take this answer to mean that there are records lost and an investigation underway, with the rest of the details to be provided soon. Please correct that impression if not correct. Thank you.

-----Original Message-----
From: Cunningham, Brian <>
To: '(name removed)
Sent: Tue,
Sep 20, 2011 5:33 pm

Subject: RE: State investigation/audit of CMPD

Your request is being reviewed at this time, please feel free to call me at 704-336-4098. Thanks Brian

From: (name removed)
Sent: Tuesday,
September 20, 2011 11:58 AM
To: Tufano, Robert; Cunningham, Brian; Fey, Robert P.; McMillan, Kimberly A.; Foxx, Anthony R; Walton, Curt; Monroe, Rodney
Subject: Re: State investigation/audit of CMPD

Please advise per below regarding this serious matter. I have still received no response whatsoever. Thank you.

-----Original Message-----
From: (name removed)
To: rtufano <>; bcunningham <>; rfey <>; kmcmillan <>; afoxx <>; cwalton <>; rmonroe <>

Sent: Mon,
Sep 19, 2011 3:22 pm
Subject: Re: State investigation/audit of CMPD

Please advise per below if the CMPD has in fact "lost" records; describe the circumstances involved in that discovery, what volume of records are involved, who was in charge of those records, the last time those records were audited and found to be secure, whether the recent CALEA certification checked those records, what agency or agencies is currently involved in this audit, whether any records have been recovered and current status. Thank you for a prompt response.

-----Original Message-----
From: (name removed)>
To: rtufano <>; bcunningham <>
Sent: Fri,
Sep 16, 2011 4:13 pm
Subject: Fwd: State investigation/audit of CMPD

Dear Mr. Tufano, Captain Cunningham,

I don't know if Officer Fey would be the one to answer this or not, so I'll forward this to you and would like a response before day's end, if you wouldn't mind. It's nearly as easy as a Yes/No question. Thanks.

-----Original Message-----
From: (name removed)
To: rfey <>
Sent: Fri
, Sep 16, 2011 3:55 pm
Subject: State investigation/audit of CMPD

Dear Officer Fey,

Please confirm if the state is or has conducted an investigation or audit of any type of the CMPD due to loss or destruction of personnel information. My information is that it has to do with missing fingerprint cards and possibly criminal background checks and other similar data.

What agency is conducting or has conducted the check and what records are involved?

Thank you for your quick reply.


If every single station and newspaper asks for this information, what will happen?

1.    What initiated the agency to perform the “first-ever audit?”

2.    What specific records were found to be missing?

3.    When were officers notified of their records which are missing?

4.    How did these records become lost or missing?  If it hasn’t been determined yet, what steps are being taken to determine how this has occurred?  When was the last documented time these records were known to be accessed/known to be in their proper location?

5.    If social security information is involved, are officers receiving centralized assistance to notify credit bureaus to protect them personally?

6.    Is there any potential impact on DNC 2012 security?

7.    Is there any impact on careers here with the haunting lines that CMPD doesn’t know the status of certifications until the agency finishes their audit?

8.    What has taken place prior to this memo with officers allegedly forced to give their fingerprints again and why is the CMPD once again being permitted by City officials to refuse public information, as demonstrated by these emails including the City attorney in charge of Public Records information and the Mayor, Council, City Manager, and more?

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