Iowa Sheriffs differ on online warrant databases

The Cerro Gordo County, Iowa Sheriff announced that he is removing the arrest warrants database from their Web site. The active arrest warrants list from 2006 is still available through Archive.org. Complaints lead to the Sheriff seeking a county attorney opinion, which said that warrants are not public records until the subject is arrested.

Iowa legislation SF204, signed last month by the governor, makes explicit the terms of release of active arrest warrants.

A criminal or juvenile justice agency may redisseminate arrest data, and the name, photograph, physical description, and other identifying information concerning a person who is wanted or being sought if a warrant for the arrest of that person has been issued.

At the same time, the Linn County Sheriff released their active warrants list, which is now posted on an Iowa newspaper Web site.

This database contains more than 2,000 outstanding arrest warrants for people wanted by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. The oldest warrants date back to 1965 and include warrants for everything from parking violations, missed court appearances to felony theft and sexual-abuse charges.

This newspaper site also has mapping of recent crimes in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area, which includes address of crime location.

Many Iowa police departments and Sheriff offices lists their active warrants.

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