Washington: An investigation has been launched after it emerged that confidential police records, including documents about failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s motorcade, were used as confetti at the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City.
The torn documents rained down on thousands of parade-goers who came on the streets to watch the parade near Central Park on New York’s Upper West Side on Thursday.
An inspection of the shredded strips, which were still readable, contained details about serving police officers, including their names, social security numbers and bank details, as well as references to crimes that took place in the area, the Telegraph reports.
According to the report, the documents appear to have originally belonged to the Nassau County Police Department, which polices parts of Long Island, just outside New York City.
Some of the confetti strips included references to Romney’s motorcade, presumably related to the second presidential debate that took place at Hofstra University in Nassau County.
Ethan Finkelstein, a university student, was watching the parade when he and his friend noticed a strip of confetti on her coat.
"It landed on her shoulder, and it says `SSN` and it`s written like a social security number, and we`re like, `That`s really bizarre’,`" he told the Pix11 television news channel.
Finkelstein, 18, said he and his friends picked up other pieces of confetti and found more apparent police records.
"There are phone numbers, addresses, more social security numbers, license plate numbers and then we find all these incident reports from police,” he said.
"I`m just completely in shock. How could someone have this kind of information, and how could it be distributed at the Thanksgiving Day Parade," he said.
"The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation. We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents," Inspector Kenneth Lack, from the Nassau County Police Department, said.