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 September 18, 2003
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Exclusive Investigation
Only On Eyewitness News: We Reveal Secret Phone Recordings At New Public Safety Complex
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We begin with an Eyewitness News exclusive investigation into the Providence Police Department.
Every phone call to and from the Providence Police Department has been recorded since the new station opened last year.
Eyewitness News investigative reporter Jack White broke the story at five and has new information right now.
We are told by several police sources that new police chief Dean Esserman found out about the taping system Monday and ordered it shutdown the next day.
Many law enforcement agencies tape incoming calls, but the caller is told the conversation is being recorded and there is a re-occuring beep during the call. The situatuion at the new Providence Police Department was very
Not only was there the capability to secretly record incoming calls, but there was the same secret capability to tape all outgoing calls.
That means that police officers talking with informants could be tape, possibily defendants calling their lawyers could be taped and calls involving union OR PRIVATE FAMILY BUSINESS could also be recorded.
The sitaution at the Providence Police Department is similar to the taping controversy involving the Rhode Island and Connecticut state police in 1989.
When Esserman found out about the taping system he questioned a number of high ranking officers at the police department. And he immediatley called in the city's communication director Manny Vieira to find out who ordered the system and why.
Jack White, Eyewitness News.

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