State Police Investigating Possible Procedural Violation At 911 Center

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The 911 Emergency Communications Center is awaiting the results of a State Highway Patrol investigation into a possible procedural violation by one of its dispatchers.

Dan Pfeiffer, director of the 911 Center, confirmed that an investigation was being conducted into a violation involving the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS).

LEADS compiles crime information and links with the National Crime Information Center and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System for use by law enforcement when they are on duty.

While Pfeiffer said the OSHP was conducting the investigation, he would not comment further due to the ongoing status of the investigation.

The dispatcher reportedly provided information from the database to a deputy in the field without the deputy having asked for the information, according to Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly. According to procedure, an officer must request the information before the dispatcher can release it, Kelly said.

“There was no criminal intent,” Kelly said. “I believe the dispatcher in question was just trying to help out the deputy. She may have violated the LEADS procedure, but her intentions were to help a deputy in the field and we are grateful for that.”

A spokesperson for the OSHP said they received a report of misuse of the LEADS system from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office on Monday. The case was sent from the Athens OSHP post to the Jackson district headquarters, where investigators are still looking into the matter, according to OSHP officials.

Kelly said he became aware of the possible violation last week, and said his office was contacted by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office requesting an internal investigation into the 911 Center.

“Information was provided by a dispatcher to one of my deputies and I felt it was a conflict for my office to do the investigation,” Kelly said.

County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said the his office did not contact Kelly to do the investigation. The prosecutor’s office “had the matter handled” but talked to a sheriff’s deputy about the incident.

Blackburn said he has been in contact with Ron O’Brien, Franklin County Prosecutor as well.

“We will deal with it as it comes,” Blackburn said.