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43.43.760  <<  43.43.762 >>   43.43.765

RCW 43.43.762

Criminal street gang database — Information exempt from public disclosure.

The Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs shall work with the Washington state patrol to coordinate, designate, and recommend the use of a statewide database accessible by law enforcement agencies that utilizes existing resources, networks, or structures for assessing and addressing the problems associated with criminal street gangs.

     (1) The gang database shall comply with federal regulations for state law enforcement databases shared with other law enforcement agencies, including auditing and access to data.

     (2) The Washington state patrol, in consultation with the Washington state association of sheriffs and police chiefs, shall adopt uniform state criteria for entering gangs, gang members, and gang associates into the database. Data on individuals may be entered only based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or actual criminal activity and must be supported by documentation, where documentation is available.

     (3) Information in the database shall be available to all local, state, and federal general authority law enforcement agencies, the Washington department of corrections, and the juvenile rehabilitation administration of the Washington department of social and health services solely for gang enforcement and for tracking gangs, gang members, and gang incidents. Information in the database shall not be available for public use.

     (4) The database shall provide an internet-based multiagency, multilocation, information-sharing application that operates in a network fashion.

     (5) The database shall be used solely as a law enforcement intelligence tool and shall not be used as evidence in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding. Law enforcement may use the information within the database to obtain information external to the database to formulate the probable cause necessary to make a stop or arrest. The mere existence of information relating to an individual within the database does not by itself justify a stop or arrest.

     (6) Access to the database shall be determined by the chief executive officer of each participating agency. Information about specific individuals in the database shall be automatically expunged if: (a) No new or updated information has been entered into the database within the previous five years; (b) there are no pending criminal charges against such person in any court in this state or another state or in any federal court; (c) the person has not been convicted of a new crime in this state, another state, or federal court within the last five years; and (d) it has been five years since the person completed his or her term of total confinement.

     (7) Each law enforcement and criminal justice agency using the database is required to:

     (a) Identify a system administrator that is responsible for annually auditing the use of the system within his or her respective agency to ensure agency compliance with policies established for the use of the database;

     (b) Ensure that all users of the database receive training on the use of the database before granting the users access to the database;

     (c) Ensure that any information entered into the database relates to a criminal street gang associate or gang member who is twelve years old or older;

     (d) Annually produce a gang threat assessment report including available data sources such as uniform crime reports, record management systems, and entries into the statewide gang database. Local public schools shall also be encouraged to provide data to the local gang threat assessment report.

     (8) The database and all contents in the database are confidential and exempt from public disclosure under chapter 42.56 RCW.

     (9) Any public employee or public agency as defined in RCW 4.24.470, or units of local government and its employees, as provided in RCW 36.28A.010, and the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs and its employees are immune from civil liability for damages arising from incidents involving a person who has been included in the database, unless it is shown that an employee acted with gross negligence or bad faith.

[2008 c 276 § 201.]

Notes:

     Severability -- Part headings, subheadings not law -- 2008 c 276: See notes following RCW 36.28A.200.