A new tool that lets you search for police records locally is making its way to Missouri and the next frontier for those searching for police misconduct or corruption in their own town.
Moultrie County, Missouri is the first county in the state to offer the tool.
Miltie County Sheriff David Moultrie said the tool, called the Missouri Sheriff’s Court Report, allows citizens to track whether a person is involved in police misconduct, corruption or even fraud.
Moulrie said he hopes the tool will be used to get to the bottom of local police corruption cases.
Murtrie said when people are looking for a police record, it can be difficult to know what to look for.
“You just don’t know where to start,” he said.
Morton County Sheriff Keith Dann said he thinks the tool could help citizens who are looking to identify potential police corruption, and that it can help track down police officers who have been involved in the deaths of citizens.
Muffin County, also in Missouri, is also considering allowing people to search local court records.
Sheriff David Murtrie, Moultries County, Mo., said the Moultry County Sheriff’s Report tool is a great tool for anyone wanting to look up the police misconduct case in their area, but he said they also wanted to give the tool to citizens to see if they could find the missing person in their community.
Mmoultries sheriff, David Moltrie, said the sheriff’s office has gotten a lot of requests to use this tool in the past year.
He said they are not yet looking at it in any way for criminal investigations.
Moltrie said Moultie County will begin using the tool this week, and Moulties county district attorney, John Burris, is working with other law enforcement agencies in the area to see what the public’s needs are for this tool.
Burris said if a citizen has information about a police officer who has been convicted of a crime, or an officer has been involved with a crime and they need to get their name cleared, he or she can get information on a local sheriff’s court report from Moultrys court.
“They can get it off the website and just send it to us and we can verify it, and we’ll do our own investigation to get the record cleared,” he added.
Burr said he is not familiar with the tool as far as the number of uses it will be getting.
He noted Moultres court records are open for public viewing, and a search is not needed to view those records.
“It is something that’s going to help us do our job better,” he explained.
Myrtle County, Alabama, is another state where police corruption is under scrutiny.
In 2016, a former Birmingham police officer pleaded guilty to accepting more than $60,000 in bribes and kickbacks from people in his office, and he has since been sentenced to six years in prison.