WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Kechi Police Lieutenant Victor Heiar was arrested by the Wichita Police Department after it was discovered he utilized his position within the police department to unlawfully access WPD’s flock license plate reader technology to monitor where his estranged wife was located.
Heiar has since been removed from the department. Heiar has been booked into Sedgwick County Jail for one count of stalking and one count of unlawful acts concerning computers.
”Obviously if you’re an officer and you have access to a lot of probably secret information that the rest of us don’t have, you’re not supposed to use that for your personal use,” Charles O’Hara, Defense Attorney with O’Hara and O’Hara said. “When it is repeated and it becomes a kind of abusive that it becomes stalking.”
O’Hara says a lot of times stalking can be covered by a civil case and not a criminal case.
“I don’t know how they’re charging with stalking,” said O’Hara. “I don’t know the specifics of any of this we are just kind of guessing, but I would assume it’s either he had an order against him and he violated that order or he has stalked to the point where the lady became fearful.”
Just this past week it was announced Wichita and Sedgwick County law enforcement would receive $1.6 million in federal funds for license plate readers and upgraded camera technology.
He says he sees some potential concerns with public safety if law enforcement doesn’t use its resources correctly.
“It is concerning I think when someone of a high rank in law enforcement may be misusing the tools that they have,” O’Hara said.
Private investigator Joseph Schillaci says while this situation needs to be addressed, he doesn’t see this situation being a common theme in police departments. Schillaci says public safety isn’t a concern.
“Any time something like this comes up yes it absolutely needs to be addressed,” Schillaci said. “As far as public concern and public safety these circumstances are isolated.”
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