ALEXANDRIA: City Hall issues APD staff confidentiality, non-disclosure agreement

Alexandria Police Department
Alexandria Police Department(KALB)
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 2:13 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall’s administration has issued members of the Alexandria Police Department a confidentiality policy and independent contractors a non-disclosure agreement.

News Channel 5 learned that two documents, entitled “Alexandria Police Department Confidentiality Policy” and “APD Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement” were presented to officers and staff at the police department last Friday, April 22, initially attached to pay stubs. We’re told the first document, “Alexandria Police Department Confidentiality Policy” was intended for those employed at the department and is a policy set to be adopted internally. We’re told the second document, “APD Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement,” was actually intended for independent contractors doing work within the building.

We’re told though sources that Alexandria Fire Department was not presented with the documents or anything similar.

News Channel 5 has obtained both documents. This comes after Councilwoman Catherine Davidson called for an investigation on Tuesday of the police department, requesting multiple documents related to staffing and policies, mentioning the two documents by name.

The first document, “Alexandria Police Department Confidentiality Policy” states that the policy “applies to all APD personnel, including employees, contractors, detailees, and task force partners.” The document states, “The Policy governs the protection and release of information that APD personnel obtain in the course of their work. The Policy provides internal guidance only and does not create any rights enforceable in law or otherwise.”

The “Alexandria Police Department Confidentiality Policy” outlines “Report Writing System, ADSI, NCIC, Thinkstream, and/or LLETS” as tool and software officers regularly use within their job. The document states, “Copying, reproducing, and/or disseminating APD information from any of the aforementioned platforms or otherwise learned through the course of employment could violate federal laws, employee non-disclosure agreements, and individual privacy rights; put a witness or law enforcement officer in danger; jeopardize an investigation or case; prejudice the rights of a defendant; or unfairly damage the reputation of a person.”

The document states that “disclosure of confidential APD information to anyone, including to family members, friends or even colleagues, is prohibited and could lead to disciplinary action.”

The “Alexandria Police Department Confidentiality Policy” addresses leaked information: “APD personnel are not authorized to speak about, discuss, or otherwise leak APD matters with persons outside of the APD or the City’s Legal Division, without express approval from the Chief of Police and/or his designee.”

The document prohibits the use of personal devices like “digital recorders, cellular phones, cameras or any other device to copy, reproduce, or otherwise disseminate APD information.” The document also addresses accessing records that are not for a legitimate law enforcement purpose, “No APD personnel will view or obtain APD information for private use while on duty. All information obtained while on duty must be official department use.” It goes on to state that employees looking for information for private use “shall conduct their business at the public counter for the Records Department, on their own time, and shall pay for all fees, as any other private citizen.”

A subsequent section of the document pertains to ongoing criminal, civil or administrative investigations, prohibiting APD personnel from communicating with members of the media. The policy states that it must be approved “in advance by the Chief of Police or his designee, except in emergency circumstances.”

The document stresses, “Nothing contained in this Policy is intended to control access to APD records under the Louisiana Public Records Act.” And, “Nothing in this Policy is intended to conflict with or limit whistleblower protections for APD personnel.”

The second document, “APD Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement” deals with independent contractors doing work with the police department.

The document states, “Independent Contractor must presume that all information obtained in connection with his or her work is confidential and protected from disclosure.”

The document specifically address public comment, “Independent Contractor shall not directly or indirectly make any public comment, statement, or communication with respect to, or otherwise disclose or permit the disclosure to any third party of any Confidential Information or any matter relating tot he Subject Matter or purpose of any transactions contemplated by the parties in connection therewith, without the prior written consent of APD.”

News Channel 5 reached out to Brian Cespiva, the General Counsel for the Alexandria Fire and Police Civil Service Board for comment about the documents. Cespiva said he had not officially received copies of them yet, and no formal complaints had been filed about them as of Wednesday.

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