West Memphis Police Department's computer network compromised

By Janice Broach - bio | email

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - The FBI is investigating a Mid-South police officer suspected of accessing fellow officers' personal information.

West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert confirmed Monday an internal investigation underway, and the FBI is investigating, after the security of the department's computer network was apparently compromised two weeks ago.

"We had information that somebody had used a computer that shouldn't have used it," Paudert said.

Paudert said the suspect in the breach was a detective in the police department.  The suspect, who Paudert would not name, has been terminated.

According to Paudert, files containing the names and social security numbers of police department employees were stored on the computer network, making the employees vulnerable to identity theft.

"It's very disturbing to us that someone, first of all, would do that, and secondly, what it would do to the employees that work here," Paudert said.

Employees of the West Memphis Police Department received a warning letter on Friday about the computer system's compromise. Employees were warned that if they found any irregularities or unusual activity on their credit report, they should report that police.

Nothing unusual has been reported so far.

"Something happened, or it wouldn't be an FBI investigation," Paudert said.

It is not clear how far into the computer system the suspect got, or how it was done.  But he was clearly in an unauthorized area, Paudert said.

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