Medicine Hat, Alberta – The Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) Criminal Investigation Section (CIS), in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, has charged a former MHPS detention guard with unauthorized use of a computer.
The accused who was employed by the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires at the time of the offence worked in detention facility of the MHPS and is alleged to have accessed private information for reasons that were not work-related.
It is believed that the accused conducted over 100 searches of police databases between 2022 and 2023, in an attempt to access information that was not required for a valid work-related purpose.
A MHPS Supervisor became aware of the breach and immediately notified the CIS. An investigation was launched and the guard’s access to the MHPS facility and information were immediately removed while the investigation was ongoing and will now be permanent.
Resulting from this investigation, Teagan Austin, 20-years-old, of Medicine Hat, AB has been charged with one count of fraudulent use of a computer.
“The MHPS does not take it for granted that we are entrusted with private and often very sensitive information about the people we serve. This is a responsibility we take very seriously, and it is completely unacceptable for any officer or civilian employee to accesses private information without a valid reason” said Alan Murphy, MHPS Chief of Police.
The law and MHPS policies only permit employees to access private information for police business. Database searches and network activity are tracked with certain activities being flagged automatically for review. All employees and contractors within MHPS who require computer systems access are also required to pass enhanced security checks before getting access to databases with private information.
The MHPS has notified the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of the breaches and does not have any reason to suspect the information was shared for any financial gain.
Anyone concerned that their information may have been accessed is asked to contact the MHPS by e-mail at [email protected]
This information is being released in the interest of public transparency.
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