An assistant police chief’s credibility is being called into question by the state’s attorney office after revelations the officer routinely violated citizen’s privacy at will. According to reports, Assistant Police Chief Gerald Fluhr regularly ran background checks on people without probable cause while on patrol. According to KWWL, Fluhr ran background checks on 80 different people. Between 2015 and 2018 Fluhr ran 108 background checks in which he only issued 4 citations to the individuals that he ran.
Fluhr said that the areas he patrolled were areas with a heavy drug presence and would routinely run any license plate he saw that he didn’t recognize. It is standard operating procedure for an officer to log every name that a search is conducted on but the officer neglected to do so.
In light of this revelation, the Jo Daviess County State’s Attorney Office has called the officer’s street cred into question. So much so, the attorney’s office is considering dismissing ALL tickets and criminal complaints filed by Fluhr.
A July 10th letter from the state attorney’s office to the East Dubuque Police Department indicates a new policy implemented by the office. No longer would they pursue any cases filed by Fluhr. Those that were already in the system were being reviewed for dismissal. For cases that independent evidence or an independent witness can’t be found, those cases would undoubtedly be dismissed. Furthermore, Fluhr would no longer be called on to testify in court unless it was absolutely necessary.
The investigation surrounding Fluhr questioned his use, or abuse, of police equipment used to run checks on unsuspecting citizens. Many of the checks never made it into his daily log. Fluhr could not provide a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy.
At this time no charges have been filed by the state’s attorney office against Fluhr. The office claims there is insufficient evidence to charge him… but isn’t the evidence of misuse of the background checks evidence enough?
According to WWMT:
In Mt. Morris, one officer was terminated after an investigation showed the officer had conducted at least seven background database checks on women he found attractive. According to the investigation summary obtained by the I-Team, the officer used that information, in at least one instance, to make a traffic stop to simply meet one of the women he looked up.
US News reports:
Two Tennessee police officers have been arrested on charges of searching the background check system unrelated to police investigations.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a Williamson County grand jury indicted former Franklin Police officers Britton Douglas Cornell and Ryan Wayne Dugger this week on one count each of official misconduct and official misuse of information.
When Albuquerque police officer Regina Sanchez admitted to investigators from the newly retooled citizen police watchdog agency that she had accessed the National Crime Information Centers database for personal purposes late last year, she was admitting to a federal crime.
Sanchez used the database, which is available only to law enforcement officers, to pull the address and other personal information of the boyfriend of a 30-year-old Albuquerque woman named Tammy Martinez on Nov. 24, 2014, according to documents obtained by KRQE News 13. Sanchez passed the information to Joshua Martinez, who at the time was Tammy Martinez’s estranged husband. Sanchez is the girlfriend of Joshua Martinez’s brother.
And the list goes on.
In light of all this evidence, one can only walk away feeling that despite the severity of the crime committed, because Fluhr is an officer, the most he’ll receive is a slap on the wrist.