85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. (GettyImages)
(USA TODAY by Michael Winter)--Shredded Long Island police records that landed on spectators at Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade were brought by a department employee who tossed the confidential confetti with his family, a New York TV station reports.
Among the easily identifiable records from the Nassau County Police Department were what appears to be details of Mitt Romney's motorcade route to and from the final presidential debate, at Hofstra University.
Confetti collected by spectators near 65th Street and Central Park West also contained arrest records, incident reports and personal information and that identified undercover officers, WPIX-TV says.
"There are phone numbers, addresses, more Social Security numbers, license plate numbers," said Ethan Finkelstein, 18, of Manhattan, who gathered up some of the confetti with friends. "And then we find all these incident reports from police."
He gave the confetti to police, who continue to investigate.
Sources told WPIX, which broke the story Friday, that the files came from the Nassau County Police Academy and that protection has been offered to all officers whose identifies were revealed. Police would not identify the employee who brought the confetti to the parade.
"The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation," said Inspector Kenneth Lack. "We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents."
Instead of strip-cutting shredders, Nassau police may buy cross-cutting machines that would dice files into small pieces.
For the record, Macy's is not guilty. The parade sponsor said it uses "commercially manufactured, multicolor confetti, not shredded paper."