Today the Sacramento Bee ran an interesting article on documented instances in which members of various California police departments, sheriffs’ departments and the California Highway Patrol have engaged in accessing various data bases for personal reasons. The databases include Department of Motor Vehicle records and state and federal criminal records. This data is supposed to be limited to access on a need to know or right to know basis.
Most of the penalties were relatively light and rarely more than a misdemeanor. In some cases the officers in question were dismissed from one law enforcement agency and hired by another.
The information was used among other things to check on estranged spouses and exes and to run background checks on perspective tenants.
If local law enforcement falls prey to this temptation, one can only imagine how often those folks working with FBI, CIA and Homeland Security must abuse the level of information they have access to.
Here is the link to the Bee’s story https://www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/article237091029.html. If you are every involved in litigation involving a peace officer or someone with a connection to a peace officer and they come up with information that seems suspicious, I suggest making them prove that it was obtained by legal means.