12.040 - Computer Software

Effective Date: 10/6/2005


Only legally owned and Department authorized software shall be loaded and run on Department owned computers.

The security of police records and documents is a priority to all Department members. The use of computers and other electronic technology makes security easier to implement through the use of encryption and passwords to protect entire systems or individual files. However, the on-going business needs of the Department, including the access to all work product created by department employees, must be weighed against the available security options.

I. Information Technology Section Responsibilities

A. Purchase, or authorize the purchase of, all Department owned microcomputer software.

B. Collect and maintain on file, software licenses for all Department owned software products.

C. Audit the software used on Department computers and remove unauthorized software.

II. Prohibited Activities

A. Violating the License Agreement for any software.

B. Copying Department owned software to any other computer, including other Department owned or home computers.

C. Loading or installing “shareware,” “freeware,” or “demo” software without express authorization as outlined below.

III. Personal Software

A. Personally owned software may be placed on Department computers only with the expressed permission of the Information Technology Section.

B. Installation of personal software shall be made in concert with the Information Technology Section and must not interfere with the operation of any Department owned software or hardware. If problems arise, personal software shall be removed.

C. License agreements for authorized personal software shall be maintained in the office where it is installed and a copy provided to the Information Technology Section for their files.

IV. Entertainment Software

A. Entertainment software is not authorized on Department computers.

V. Encryption and Password Protection of Police Department Records

A. Employees are prohibited from using any third party encryption tool on any Department computer, or on any Department related work file. Individual sections and units will determine which employee work will be maintained on a Department share drive.

B. Employees may not password protect any file or hard drive without written permission from their supervisor. The minimum permanent rank of any supervisor who approves the use of a password to protect a document must be lieutenant or above (lieutenants must obtain approval from a captain, a captain from an assistant chief, etc).

C. Only those investigations or other electronic documents that are extremely sensitive may be password protected. Requests to password protect a file must be made in writing to the unit Captain, and must include the file name and password. This will allow the Department to access the document(s) in case of an emergency, an extended absence on the part of the employee, or any other Department business need.