An Open Records Request shows that a written agreement between the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office and the Riverdale Police Department was changed to require CCSO’s use of Riverdale’s ORI, an agency identification number, for criminal history, vehicle registration, and driver history checks. Neither agency has clarified why CCSO needs Riverdale’s ORI number to run background checks at the jail.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation assigns ORI numbers to each law enforcement agency. Those ORIs are used for things like tracking the number and types of arrests an agency makes.

The issue came to light after Sheriff Levon Allen used a county radio frequency to announce the jail would no longer take arrestees from Riverdale Police Department.

According to Riverdale Police Chief Todd Spivey, Assistant Chief Wilfred Norwood “wasn’t comfortable” signing the amended agreement while Spivey was out of town, adding that he quickly cleared up the matter when he returned the next day.

Here is the original agreement, signed by Allen and Spivey in January, which does not mention CCSO using RPD’s identification number:

And here is the amended agreement, signed on June 7 by Allen and Riverdale Assistant Police Chief Wilfred Norwood, which adds two paragraphs to the original version:

The changes to the new agreement read: “The Servicing Agency [CCSO] will perform inquiries for the Receiving Agency [RPD] to include inquiries of criminal history record information (CHRI), driver history records and vehicle registration information. The Servicing Agency shall use the Receiving Agency’s ORI when performing inquiries on behalf of the Receiving Agency.

“The results will be disseminated to the Receiving Agency by means of face-to-face communication, e-mail, mail, or telephone, following standards set forth in the FBI CJIS Security Police and the GCIC Operating and Policy Manual.”

A third line reads, “INSERT specific information here as directed in the GCIC Operating and Policy Manual:”, but no information appears below that line.

Spivey told The Clayton Crescent that he and Allen “did not get into the nuts and bolts of” why Allen wanted to amend the agreement, “other than that was their GCIC audit and GCIC wanted them to make that change, and he couldn’t take our prisoners anymore if that change wasn’t made. I took the original document that I had already signed earlier this year and then I took the document, a copy of the document that they wanted with, added a small change, I sent it over to the deputy director of GCIC, and said, ‘Hey, in the world of GCIC, is this a legal document or are y’all okay with it?’ And they said, ‘Yeah. Yup, y’all can do this.’ So, got it signed, got it straightened out, and got it straightened out to where the individuals we arrested will be accepted at the Clayton County facility.”

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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