A plan to share Minnesota's statewide database of local police records with the FBI moved one step closer to reality Friday.
A task force has recommended that the state feed data from jail, probation and incident reports into a system that would be shared by law enforcement across the country.
Federal authorities say the so-called Law Enforcement National Data Exchange, also known as N-DEx, is an important post-9/11 tool for law enforcement, especially when criminal behavior crosses state lines.
But others find the idea unsettling. Incident reports include names of suspects who have never been convicted in court. Public defenders and civil-liberties groups say distributing that kind of information can lead to the targeting of people who have done nothing wrong.
They're also concerned about sharing local police data with federal law enforcement, including immigration officials.
The proposal now moves to a policy group, which will meet in January before making a recommendation to the Legislature.