S.C.s law enforcements access to federal criminal databases could be revoked

Posted by Kristina Taylor
December 19, 2011

S.C.s law enforcements access to federal criminal databases could be revoked

South Carolina law enforcement could soon find it difficult to catch criminals who cross state borders into the Palmetto State.

The FBI recently sanctioned S.C.’s State Law Enforcement Division for not properly monitoring criminal records that are shared among states. The sanction is the first step toward revoking South Carolina’s access to the FBI’s criminal databases. SLED Chief Mark Keel says the sanctions were a result of SLED’s previous administration outsourcing much of its information technology work, leaving the FBI unable to monitor local law enforcement agencies as they used the federal system.

If South Carolina’s access to the FBI’s criminal databases was revoked, there would be serious consequences for law enforcement officers on the street, as well as businesses and nonprofit organizations who depend on the system for pre-employment background checks.

Without access to the FBI’s criminal database, a South Carolina police officer could pull over a person who is wanted on a murder charge in another state and have no way of knowing it. Or an S.C. company could run a background check for a prospective employee and not know of felony convictions in other states.

Here’s hoping SLED gets the money it needs — Keel estimates the agency needs to spend about $6 million to fix the problems — before it loses access to such valuable information.

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