No single agency does nationwide tracking of how often officers misuse confidential law enforcement databases, but an Associated Press investigation found last month that scores of officers have done so in recent years. Through records requests to state agencies and big-city police departments, the AP found that law enforcement officers and employees who misused databases were fired, suspended or resigned more than 325 times from 2013 to 2015. In more than 250 instances, they received reprimands, counseling and lesser discipline.
The number of violations was surely far higher, given that the records provided were spotty at best and many cases go undetected.
Yes, police have access to too much information because they are able to spy on innocent people for their own enjoyment. For instance, some police officers have looked up their ex-wives in order to know what they are doing. Why should they have this right? They should be unable to find this information.
It is correct that the police should have access to a vast amount of information so that they are able to perform their duties diligently and efficiently, particularly when they are investigating serious crimes. Despite the fact that these powers are sometimes abused, they are essential to the work of an effective law enforcement agency.
I do not believe police have too much access to peoples information. It is the responsibility of the individuals and departments involved to ensure that their officers are not misusing information. It is important that the police are able to access information that is usually not accessible, in order to help solve and prevent crime.