Years of Cases in Long Beach Could Be in Limbo After Nearly Half the Police Department Used Text Message-Deleting App

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The Long Beach Police Department has suspended its use of a mobile texting application that permanently erases messages over concerns that it may violate the city’s record retention policy, raising questions about whether evidence was destroyed in cases.

In a statement Tuesday, the city said the decision to halt the use of TigerText came “pending further review of whether the use is consistent with the city’s record retention policy and administrative regulations for the use of mobile devices.”

The move came after a report in Al Jazeera in which two officers said they were instructed by superiors to use the app to “have conversations with other officers that wouldn’t be discoverable.”

A city document provided to The Times by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California describes the app as a “secure messaging platform for criminal investigations and confidential communication.” The document shows that each yearlong license costs $96.

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