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tomber
07-19-2008, 12:13 AM
I am told that police officers generally aren't listed in the phone book.

-Is my source correct?

-Can there be exeptions? I mean, is it the officer's choice or is there a rule?

-If an officer is not listed in phone book, how might a MC go about obtaining the address? The MC in question is poor (so no private investigator), and I'll consider an online solution (if there is one) if nothing else works.

Creepy question, I know, but its all for the craft.

Thanks!

crimsonlaw
07-19-2008, 12:41 AM
A neat and scary thing about this world is we can always be found. A simple Google search works better than most folks seem to think. If the cop is younger, there is a good chance he has a myspace or facebook account. If the cop happens to own property, many probate courts and tax assessor offices are beginning to keep online records so you can type someone's name into a search and find all the property in the area that they own. A surprising number of people have tried to start a home-based business and thus are attached to small, often defunct, corporations; corporations have to be created via paperwork and most states allow for online searches of that information (usually under the Secretary of State's website), which include personal information about the organizers and officers of the corporation. If your MC can spare a few bucks, there are a ton of internet search agencies that will search all sorts of public records for a small fee, but the quality of the work done varies wildly. If the cop has ever been involved as a party in a lawsuit/divorce/paternity type of action, you can find his personal info (including SSN, which is kind of scary) in the public court files. If your MC is friends with an attorney, most of us have access to public record databases either through their search engines (like Westlaw and Lexis) or, in more progressive states, court records can be accessed by members of the bar. Finally, the old fashion way of just following the officer home at night works too!

Didn't mean for this to turn into a solid block of words, but I hope some of this info is helpful. And I hope I haven't unwittingly become part of a conspiracy to get even with a cop! ;)

hammerklavier
07-19-2008, 01:51 AM
You can usually tell where they live by the patrol car parked outside.

Horseshoes
07-19-2008, 02:07 AM
Yes, source is correct. Yes, there can be exceptions.

Very few US cops are in the phone book-never heard of it being a rule, always known it to be the ofc's choice. I've known some who are listed openly in the book.

You cop char is being dangerously sloppy if he gets tailed home, but maybe you want to show him that way.

Most likely way for your novel char to get an addy is because your char works in or knows someone who works in a utility or service company of some sort with whom the ofc does business privately. For ex, char's friend works at the electric co, char's friend is an office manager at the vet hospital where the ofc takes his kitty.

Most city and other large dept US cops are pretty darned careful about revealing info and there are many ways they can do this, using PMBs or POBoxes, listing items in another's name, etc. (I was not findable through any utility or property records search.) Court records oft don't include respondent or petitioner's addresses, so court searches might not get you there after all. In a small town setting, the lack of populations desnity and lower number of possibilities akes the search much easier.

Maryn
07-19-2008, 02:14 AM
Zabasearch.com lists home addresses for many people who would very much prefer this information was not publicly available.

See if you can't find your favorite celebrity's home address. It's fun!

Maryn, who learned where hers lives, but thinks she won't drop in

JoNightshade
07-19-2008, 02:14 AM
Really depends where you are. In my home town, the local cop lived down the street and everyone knew it because, as hammer pointed out, he parked his car in the driveway. I imagine in a big-city setting they have to be a little less obvious, but it's still kinda hard to hide the fact that you're a cop.

jclarkdawe
07-19-2008, 02:17 AM
Most police officers don't list their phone numbers.

Easiest search for someone who is poor is to go to the county courthouse complex. Many police officers own property and would be listed in the registry of deeds. Also, many police officers are divorced, which would be listed at the family court. Both sources are free and available if you walk in.

Divorce cases can have a lot of information, especially from the financial affidavit.

And the county courthouse is frequently near the low rent districts in a community. And available through public transportation.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

tomber
07-19-2008, 02:27 AM
Thanks for the tons of useful (and frightening) info, and I assure everyone that no officers will be harmed or harassed due to the info, at least not by me.

elissa
07-19-2008, 05:09 AM
A friend who is a cop is listed, but he's under a woman's name in the phone book. Same last name, but a fictitious female first name. He says that's common practice around here.

PattiTheWicked
07-19-2008, 06:29 AM
Similar story here. A friend of mine who is a cop about my age (39) says he does all kinds of things online and in the real world, but uses a different name. Instead of, say, Mike Jackson, he goes by Matt Johnson. That includes his myspace account, his home phone number, even his utilities. People who know him know how to find him. People who are creepystalkerdangerous think he's completely off the grid.

And no, his real name is not really Mike Jackson or Matt Johnson, before someone yells 'Ohmygodyoujustputhislifeandhisfamilyindangeronteh interwebs!!"