LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Elected leaders and others in Lansing lost access to the back side of the city’s property records database system this morning.
The move to restrict access to the records, spokesman Scott Bean says, comes as the city has launched an investigation into photographs stored in the system. Bean says the data is, “internal, confidential department backend database (BS&A) information.”
Bean says two incidents reported by 6 News involving Code Compliance Officers uploading photos of people to the database caused the city to launch an investigation last week.
Bean confirmed this afternoon that city council members, the mayor’s office staff and others have been denied access to the system as of this morning as part of the ongoing investigation.
In one incident, originally reported anonymously by email to the city council, alleged an officer was taking photographs of deceased bodies discovered during code enforcement activities. The email further alleged the officer would share those images with friends and family, as well as showing them around the office.
Wednesday, Councilman Ryan Kost raised concerns about a second officer who had uploaded photos of a man identified in property notes as “heavily medicated and unresponsive.” The man went on to have a guardian appointed for him by the Ingham County Courts because he was deemed “Incapacitated.”
Kost made the discovery while reviewing information based on neighborhood complaints about the property where the man formerly lived. He says he was “horrified,” and called on city officials to purge the system of photos of people.
City officials are working to determine how many photographs there are in the system. They are also reviewing to determine, what if any, policies the city has in relation to the storage of photographs of the deceased, mentally incapacitated and other people in city systems.