New Website Worries Police

3/8/2008 Fresno Cops feel the site puts them and their families in danger.

Officer Hector Basurto is the vice president of the Latino Police Officers Association. He recently learned about and is furious.

"Having a website like this out there puts a lot of law enforcement in my estimation in danger. It exposes us out there."

Kevin Martin is the vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. Martin questions, "Will they be able to access our home addresses, home phone numbers, marital status, whether or not we have children? That's always a big concern for us."

Creators of the site say no personal information will be on the site.

They gathered officers' names which are public information from more than 450 police agencies nationwide.

Some listings also have badge numbers along with the officers' names. Rebecca Costell says in a statement that the site helps people rate more than 130,000 officers by rating them on authority fairness and satisfaction. She adds, "Our websites purpose is to break the stereotype that people have that cops are all bad by having police officers become responsible for their actions. We will screen the site for any inappropriate comments."

This site is so new that many bay area police agencies are not aware of it. San Francisco police say they have no connection with the site and would not take any of its comments seriously

Police associations that represent more than 100,000 police and sheriffs in California are now seeking legislation to see if they can eliminate the site altogether.

California Police Chief's Association President, Chief Jerry Dyer, says "Officers who are rated face unfair maligning without any opportunity to defend themselves. The CPCA will work with other law enforcement associations to pursue legislation to stop the website."

Constitutional attorney and former San Francisco police commissioner Peter Keane says eliminating the site is difficult. "Any kind of publication is protected as long as it's not publishing privileged information"

The first amendment would be the sites protection.

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