CONCORD — Chief Joseph O’Connor and the Concord Police Department are today alerting residents to the possible exposure of private citizen information after the wrong version of the weekly police log was posted onto the Town’s website earlier this week.
The weekly Concord Police log is posted to concordma.gov at around noontime every Monday. The log that is supposed to be posted and released to the public is the “media log” which contains information about police incidents and calls for service but does not contain any private or confidential information. On Tuesday, Jan. 29, Chief O’Connor was alerted to the fact that the wrong version of the log was inadvertently posted to the town’s website by a department employee. Chief O’Connor immediately ordered the log taken down, and the Town of Concord, through its website vendor, removed the file and purged the website cache.
“Human error resulted in the accidental posting of personal information about those who called for service or were otherwise involved with the Concord Police Department over the past week,” Chief O’Connor said. “On behalf of the entire Police Department, I would like to sincerely apologize for this breach of individual privacy. We are committed to working with all those affected by this.”
The log file that was posted to the town website contained the personal information of individuals who had reported incidents or were involved with the Concord Police Department between January 21-27, 2019, including in some cases names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, phone numbers and social security numbers.
The amount of information released about a specific person depended on the nature of their interaction with the Department between January 21-27.
The Concord Police Department is sending letters and information packets to all those whose information appeared on the log file. The information packet can also be downloaded HERE, and it contains vital tips and resources to assist those whose private data may have been exposed and those who may be victims of identify theft.
For any resident whose data appeared on the log or believes they may have been a victim of identify theft, the Concord Police Department has assigned two senior officers to respond to all citizen inquiries. Citizens may contact:
- Lieutenant Joseph Morahan: [email protected] or 978-318-3404
- Detective Sergeant Jeffrey Young: [email protected] or 978-318-3409
In response to the release of private information, it is also recommended that those affected follow these steps recommended by the Federal Trade Commission:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could signal identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Review your payment card statements carefully. Look for credit or debit card charges you don’t recognize. If you find fraudulent charges, contact your credit card company or bank right away, report the fraud, and request a new payment card number.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you. A fraud alert is free and lasts a year.
- Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit reports. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that it won’t stop a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
The Concord Police Department is also reviewing its log file creation and website posting procedures to ensure that this incident is not repeated in the future.