The Annapolis Police Department says it is conducting an internal investigation after a city dispatcher accessed a law enforcement database to find personal information about a 911 Center employee in Baltimore County.
In December, the Baltimore County employee, Kelli Murray, made controversial comments about police brutality on Facebook. The Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4 condemned Murray’s comments, and she was criticized and insulted on social media sites.
At the time, county officials would not say which agency had accessed Murray’s information. Documents recently obtained by The Baltimore Sun under the Public Information Act show that the person who accessed her information was a dispatcher at the Annapolis Police Department.
The Maryland State Police keeps records of who logs onto law enforcement databases. According to the documents, an investigator with the Baltimore County 911 Center emailed a state police official on Jan. 5, saying county 911 Center chief Marie A. Whisonant had asked for an investigation.
The State Police wrote back saying that Marcia Rullman of the Annapolis Police Department ran Murray’s name on Dec. 22. Baltimore County officials then notified Annapolis Police around Jan. 6, a county spokeswoman said.
Reached by phone, Rullman declined to comment.
Cpl. Amy Miguez, a spokeswoman for the Annapolis Police Department, confirmed that Rullman is a dispatcher and said department officials were looking into the situation.
It is against departmental policy to access a law enforcement database without having a valid criminal justice purpose, Miguez said. Violators can face internal discipline or criminal prosecution, according to the policy.
Murray said that after she resigned from the county, her unemployment claim was denied and she now relies on public assistance while attending school. She said the attention her comments attracted took a toll on her personally because she faced online harassment.
Now that the controversy has subsided, Murray said, “I feel a lot better. But I am still disheartened about the situation.”
Law enforcement agencies in Maryland have access to a Motor Vehicle Administration database, as well as the Maryland Electronic Telecommunications Enforcement Resource System, which provides a gateway to the National Crime Information Center run by the FBI, said State Police spokesman Greg Shipley.
When alleged violations related to access of the databases occur, it is up to individual police agencies to investigate, Shipley said.