How do investigators check police records?

I apologize if this is confidential, feel free to not answer if it is.

How do investigators conduct records checks with police? I’ve always assumed they looked at court records (mostly available with an online search) but I’ve recently learned investigators seek out original police reports to see what actually happened as opposed to what the legal outcome was. But these aren’t available online (to my knowledge) so do investigators actually seek these out in person? I can’t imagine this being a feasible or cost effective means to check a criminal record, but what do I know (in case the question didn’t give it away, I’m not an investigator)

The release form (publicly available) you sign states:

"I Authorize any investigator, special agent, or other duly accredited representative of the authorized Federal agency conducting my background investigation, reinvestigation or ongoing evaluation (i.e. continuous evaluation) of my eligibility for access to classified information or, when applicable, eligibility to hold a national security sensitive position to obtain any information relating to my activities, conduct, and character from individuals, schools, residential management agents, employers, criminal justice agencies, credit bureaus, consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, retail business establishments, or other sources of information. This information may include, but is not limited to current and historic academic, residential, achievement, performance, attendance, disciplinary, employment,
criminal, financial and credit information, and publicly available social media information…

…I Authorize any investigator, special agent, or other duly accredited representative of the OPM, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director or National Intelligence, the Department of State, and any other authorized Federal agency, to request criminal record information about me from criminal justice agencies for the purpose of determining my eligibility for assignment to, or retention in, a national security position, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 9101…

…I Authorize custodians of records and other sources of information pertaining to me to release such information upon request of the investigator, special agent, or other duly accredited representative of any Federal agency authorized above regardless of any previous agreement to the contrary…"

Read into it what you will

Customarily if no disposition is reflected in the record at the law agency then a record is scheduled at the corresponding court house for resolution. Either of these can be completed by inquiry (telephone) or in person by the investigator and is generally not conducted via any state or county online (remote) portals. The words ‘feasible and cost effective’…What do they mean? :slight_smile:

Be aware of the distinct possibility that investigators (who aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier) may speak with such individuals as security guards, watchmen, rent-a-cops, etc.who are not sworn LEO’s, but then the BI goes ahead and reports the results of such contacts as being information supplied by a police source.

Not accurate. Where are you even getting that idea?


In the words of Will Farrell, Erroneous! No one with an IQ of a rock [or greater] would risk their career and freedom on something which would not stand up to scrutiny when challenged. I’m just not buying this… Your statement that BI’s are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier appears to reflect a strong bias which is uncommon in this fact based industry.

The informants who have been “developed” during the BI are under no such risk.

From my own experience!

You’re aware checks with security offices are conducted in addition to law enforcement agencies, correct? You’re also aware non-sworn personnel also work at LEA’s?

It’s not possible to use a non-LEA source as an LEA source due to the levels of checks involved, and if information was to be falsified, someone would be going to prison.

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The problem arises, at least as it did in my case, in the murky area where investigators may contact individuals who may wear uniforms or have the title “watchman”, but are not sworn LEO’s.

I obtained the results of my BI through the PA. Derogatory information and opinions were provided by “developed” informants at a casual part-time job which I held while I was in school, who fit in these categories. In the synopsis section of my BI, this information was summarized as a “police”.issue. Interestingly enough my official LEA records were all clear at the time at all locations checked.

Reports have a standardized format that one must adhere to. A reasonable adjudicator and reviewer would look at the source’s information and put two and two together. Also consider they’re very well aware of the fact that people provide inaccurate information all the time.

Don’t spread misinformation.

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I’m only speaking from my actual experience.

I think you’re misunderstanding how things played out and are confusing how/why information was obtained from those individuals. I can see how it would be misinterpreted, but I won’t expand on specific procedures and why they happen.

It’s unfortunate someone disclosed derogatory information if it was untrue, but it’s not inappropriate to obtain information from non-LEO’s. Secured facilities have non-LEO’s. LEA’s have non-LEO’s. If a clerk from an LEA provides an official record, it’s not going to be rejected because the provider wasn’t a sworn officer. Beat cops and detectives have more important things to worry about than someone else’s paperwork, that’s what the rest of the staff is for.
School security offices have non-LEO’s. Corporate buildings have non-LEO’s. If a facility has a security office–a place that’s supposed to keep record of security incidents–you can’t discount their information just because they’re non-sworn. If a “watchman” sees you every day and is somewhat knowledgeable of who you are and what you do, I’d certainly at least want that person’s brief impression of you, if not a testimony.