Duquesne Police Chief: Identities of Crime Victims & Other Conf - KOAM TV 7

Duquesne Police Chief: Identities of Crime Victims & Other Confidential Police Information May Have Been Transferred Over Insecure Internet


City officials in Duquesne worry a security system connected to the internet might have put the well-being of its residents at risk.  The mayor of Duquesne says she wanted to ensure accountability in the city's police department.  So last year, she ordered security footage be stored on another DVR at city hall.  The old DVR was inside the police station, in the same building as city hall.

Some city officials worry that about two months worth of camera footage might not be secure.

Imagine anyone in the world having VIP access to the identities of rape victims in Duquesne, or identities of children who are victims of crimes.  Duquesne's police chief says that scary thought is a real possibility.

"I'd be concerned," says Police Chief Tommy Kitch.  "Exceptionally concerned.  I don't want your family on the internet.   I don't want a child who has been abused or been a victim of a crime on the internet.  I don't want somebody who is reporting a crime on the internet."

"I find this just as an attempt at trying to slander me, as a political move," says Duquesne Mayor Lisa Daugherty.

Daugherty says many city officials, and Kitch, have dragged her into this security camera controversy.

"I had no idea about it being remote access," says Daugherty.

But Kitch says the mayor hired a company to connect city hall and the police station security cameras to the internet.  Kitch says the mayor was watching live camera footage while she was away from city hall.

"She made a comment that an officer was behind the station for an inappropriate amount of time, and he had been continually on the telephone," says Kitch, who added that the mayor said she was watching the officer on live footage.

"I was never able to access it, and I never did access it," says Daugherty.

"When the system was in my office, she would routinely come in there, after hours, and watch the video for hours," says Kitch.

City council members say the camera system has recently been disconnected from the internet, but there could still be ramifications.

"First off, it put the city in a large liability issue," says Kitch.

The police chief knows what's put on the internet can stay forever, and says there's no certain way to make sure security footage wasn't recorded on different devices.  The mayor maintains she doesn't know how the security system operates.

City officials say they weren't asked by the mayor for permission to refurnish the camera system, and connect it to the internet.  But city council, in general, gives the mayor permission to spend a certain amount of money without permission beforehand.


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