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Publication date: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Page number: 2 Edition: Late Section: Metro Day: Byline: Jennifer Edwards Baker Byline ID: Copyright: RESALE: archive~15513672

Ex-cop gets a year's probation

He used a police computer to help a suspected dealer
Jennifer Edwards Baker

Alvin Triggs can never be a cop again.

The former Cincinnati police officer who resigned last month after admitting he illegally used a police computer to look up information for a suspected drug dealer was sentenced to serve one year probation Tuesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Robert Winkler also ordered Triggs, 45, of Bond Hill to pay a $500 fine, surrender his law enforcement license and get another job.

If he violates any part of the sentencing, he will be required to serve 180 days in jail.

Triggs escaped time behind bars he faced a maximum of six months after losing his 13-year police career earlier this year when he was charged with several felonies.

He wound up pleading guilty to a reduced, misdemeanor charge of attempted unauthorized use of a police computer.

When he was arrested in April, his annual police salary was $63,383.

Hamilton County prosecutors accused Triggs of using a police computer inside the District 1 station, which also is CPD headquarters, to run a license plate number to see who it belonged to.

The request was made by a cousin of Triggs who police believe was a drug dealer and wanted to find out if the license plate was on a car being used by undercover police. Unknown to Triggs, though, the Texas license plate had been confiscated long before by the Regional Narcotics Unit, made up of Cincinnati police and Hamilton County sheriff's deputies who often go undercover to try to solve drug crimes, and hadn't been used.

They sent an informant to Triggs' cousin with the Texas license plate number, suggesting it belonged to undercover police who were actively investigating him.

The cousin gave Triggs the plate number and he ran it through the computer, according to prosecutors. When he did that Jan. 28, RENU was alerted and later asked Triggs why he ran that specific plate through the system.

Initially, Triggs said he couldn't remember but later called the officers to explain that the license plate was on a SUV that cut him off while driving an undercover vehicle, followed by its occupants glaring at Triggs.

Police placed that license plate on a SUV similar to the one Triggs described and showed him a picture. Triggs identified that as the offending vehicle not knowing that plate never had been on a vehicle.

Knowing they'd caught Triggs in a lie, police arrested him April 5 as he was inside the Hamilton County Courthouse to testify in another case.