Repurposing used paper is great. Repurposing confidential police documents replete with legible personal information? Not so much.
But such was the scene at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when, amid clouds of confetti, attendees were showered with strips of paper that displayed social security numbers, incident reports, license plate numbers, bank info, undercover officers' identities and even tidbits about Mitt Romney's motorcade from the last presidential debate.
The shoddily shredded documents were cut on the horizontal, allowing contiguous letters and words to remain intact. Documents should be shredded vertically to ensure that confidential information is rendered illegible.
The documents in question came from the Nassau County Police Department. In a statement to PIX11, the commanding officer for public information, Inspector Kenneth Lack, wrote, "The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation. We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents."
Meanwhile, Macy's assured the media that it uses only commercially manufactured, punch-cut, multicolor confetti — not shredded paper. So where did the confidential confetti come from? Perhaps festively flung from a building along the route, or exuberantly tossed from a parade attendee? We may never know, but we’re guessing local police departments will be tightening up their shredding habits.
See a video showing the private tatters here:
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- 8 strange facts about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
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