Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom says he's pulling the plug on a secret police database long used to track gang members in Minnesota.
The GangNet database was part of the controversy surrounding the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force, a unit of dozens of officers from various agencies brought together to fight organized street crime.
But reports of misconduct and alleged thefts by some of the officers shut down the unit in 2009. No one was prosecuted, but participating agencies paid out a 3 million dollar civil settlement last year.
The database is one of the last remnants of the strike force scandal. Bostrom says he questioned its use after taking office as the new sheriff this year.
"The term gang probably doesn't accurately describe what we're trying to deal with," he said. "What we're trying to deal with here is trying to find a way to best address the violent offenders in our community. And I don't think the tag gang really captures what it is we're trying to do and why we want to share information."
GangNet will shut down Aug. 15.