Police scanner traffic can get personal. Some information broadcast could be a boon to identity thieves

MURFREESBORO — Midstate police departments often warn residents of the dangers of disclosing personal information that can be used by would-be crooks to steal their identity, their credit and even their money.

At times, however, those same police departments may be doing just that while in the process of doing their jobs.

From routine traffic stops to individuals stopped on the street for questioning, officers at the Murfreesboro Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, La Vergne Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and even Metro Nashville Police sometimes broadcast Social Security numbers over the air to dispatchers.

Spokesmen for all the departments acknowledge that when individuals are stopped and cannot produce a driver’s license, officers have the option to radio a person’s, name, date of birth and Social Security number into dispatchers to help identify them.

Officers on motorcycle or foot patrol who don’t carry mobile data terminals are more likely to broadcast Socials to identify individuals without a license, according to police.



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