MAYOR HARRINGTON AUCTION CAMERA STATEMENT

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At the Huron City Commission meeting 6/28/2021  Huron Mayor Gary Harrington issued this statement in reference the online auction purchase of cameras used in the past by the police department that were bought by a Brookings man and found to contain startling images of old case evidence.

 

6/28/2021

Regarding the recent reports of sensitive information being unintentionally released by a third party by way of police cameras sold at public auction, the City Attorney’s office has bee coordinating with the Beadle County State’s attorney’s office and other outside support agencies to secure any sensitive material or “confidential criminal justice information.”  Accordingly, a subpeona was issued last Friday, and progress is being made for a resolution in securing any sensitive or confidential material.

In reference to cameras sold at public auction, the Huron Police Department policy has been amended to provide for the “Disposal of photography, video, and/or audio recording equipment” in that “Any and all equipment used by the Huron Police Department to photograph, record or to store digital evidence pertaining to the documentation, investigation or prosecution of any criminal case will not be disseminated, transferred, or sold to any outside person or entity.  All equipment that is deemed obsolete, damaged or unnecessary will be destroyed following established evidence disposal procedure.  All equipment containing media storage to include internal/ external hard drives, internal memory, or other media storage will be destroyed in a manner which prevents previously stored information from being accessible.

To crime victims and their families, efforts have been taken to work with the Beadle County Victim Services Office to assist victims and their families whose information may be on the cameras.  Again, we are working diligently to secure any such information by means of appropriate legal processes.

Finally, I would like to address the misinformation surrounding the integrity of the City’s handling of financial date from the Finance Department related to water billings.  Appropriate responses have been made accordingly to correct any such misinformation, and the City continues to ensure the security and protection of financial data obtained from citizens pursuant to the water billing processes.

While this matter has been ongoing, measures have been taken through legal process, policy change, and coordination with outside agencies.  We will continue a coordinated effort to secure any sensitive or confidential criminal justice information, and implement policy to ensure the integrity and security of such information moving forward.  Thank You.

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