VIPD provides candidates' police records
Published: July 25, 2014
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ST. THOMAS - After the V.I. Elections System failed to turn over police records for all 2014 primary election candidates, the V.I. Police Department did so this week.
All the records were clean.
For the first time in an election season, the Elections System required candidates to submit police records with their candidate nomination packages. The Daily News initially requested the same records from the Elections System in May, but Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes said that she returned them to the candidates or shredded them.
Police records are public documents, according to the V.I. Code. Willfully destroying public records is illegal under the Code.
The V.I. Police Department complied with the request for the release of police records for all of the primary election candidates.
V.I. Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard Sr. and V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer said that the police records are public documents.
The records reflect any arrests or convictions within the St. Thomas-St. John and St. Croix districts, according to Assistant Police Commissioner Thomas Hannah.
However, the districts do not have the same records.
The police department processed 84 records in two weeks, and one police record was flagged for George L. Moore in the St. Thomas-St. John District. It was not the same George Moore who is running for a senatorial seat on St. Croix.
George L. Moore, who is not a senatorial candidate, was arrested in 2011 and was convicted of aggravated assault and battery in February 2012 and served a total of seven months in jail.
"That's not me," Moore, the candidate, told The Daily News on Wednesday.
No clean record appeared for candidate Moore in the St. Thomas-St. John District, and the St. Croix District had no record of George L. Moore, the convict. "It's not a perfect system," Hannah said.
Though the police department has been trying to upload all of its files to its electronic database for years, the department's catalogue of files is incomplete, Hannah said. Therefore, the districts are not synced to allow someone to search for a record simultaneously in both districts.
Ideally, both districts would have records of both candidate George Moore and George L. Moore.
"The key factor is that they are not supported by fingerprints or Social Security numbers," Hannah said.
The police department, which stores most fingerprint records both manually and electronically, logs fingerprints upon arrest.
No fingerprints supported the records found for any of the primary candidates. People having similar names can lead to several file matches if searched by name, so police routinely ask for the Social Security numbers, as well as the dates and places of birth.
Social Security numbers and other personal information are protected by privacy laws.
However, the department can conduct a search with only the name.
"Most of the time, people are not requesting records that are not their own," Querrard said.
Fawkes could not be reached Thursday to comment for the story.