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Report: Local police don't cooperate with federal background checks

Feb. 11, 2014 at 4:16 PM

WASHINGRON, D.C., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Federal officials doing background checks for security clearances are often hindered by a lack of cooperation from local police, a congressional report says.

The report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform proposes changes to avoid security lapses that could have tragic consequences, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

More than 450 jurisdictions provide little or no information requested by federal agencies conducting background checks, the committee said.

Major police departments that do not cooperate include those in Los Angeles, New York, Baltimore and the District of Columbia, the report said.

The committee said information from local law enforcement agencies might have prevented last year's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard by Aaron Alexis. Investigators performing his security clearance did not get a Seattle police document alleging he had shot out the tires of a car because authorities there generally point investigators to public records.

The committee also found that investigators are prohibited from checking social media for derogatory information about an applicant.

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