Cop used criminal justice database to look up women, police say

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, were investigating one of their own and it has led to the officer’s termination.

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Brennan Polidoro has been fired as an officer with the Lanesborough Police Department after the now-retired police chief Timothy Sorrell discovered that Polidoro had used the Criminal Justice Information System database to look up women without justification, The Associated Press reported.

Sorrell called what Polidoro allegedly did stalking and harassment, according to the Berkshire Eagle.

An investigation uncovered that Polidoro used the system to look up women he had either a current or past relationship with or women he wanted to date.

Sorrell produced a 58-page report over a months-long investigation before his retirement.

Normally officers use the database to run license plate numbers unless there is a reason to search by name. But Sorrell’s investigation found that Polidoro allegedly used the system to search women’s names, the Eagle reported.

“This Officer then advised [Polidoro] that in talking to people at CJIS, it was explained ... that we can’t use CJIS as a personal ‘Google’ search,’” Sorrell wrote in the report of his investigation, according to the Eagle.

One of the women Polidoro was accused of searching for in the system was a woman with whom he had a relationship when she was 16 and he was 22, the Eagle reported.

In a court case involving the woman, who had been charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, the woman’s attorney stated that Polidoro ran the woman’s name in the database three times when she “was not under any suspicion of any illegal activity.”

Polidoro was the officer who stopped the woman in the case where charges were filed.

The case against the woman was dropped last month with her attorney saying it was due to Polidoro’s actions, the Eagle reported.

Officers also said that Polidoro alerted a woman who had a warrant issued in her name about an impending arrest. The woman told other officers that Polidoro told her she was wanted.

Sorrell confirmed that Polidoro ran a warrants check for the woman in the database after the police chief of a neighboring community tipped him off. Polidoro admitted that he did run the woman’s name through the system.

Polidoro’s attorney says the former officer is appealing his firing.

“He has filed a grievance pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement which provides that officers may only be terminated for just cause,” Terence Coles, Polidoro’s attorney said, according to the AP. ”Officer Polidoro’s grievance alleges that the town did not have just cause to terminate him.”

Click here for more on the investigation.