Confidential documents from a New York police department were somehow used as confetti during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade festivities on November 22.
According to the New York Post, the shredded papers that fell over parade spectators included social security numbers, names of detectives, and crime information from the Nassau County, New York Police Department.
One strip of paper that was found even contained information about Mitt Romney’s Long Island motorcade.
An eighteen year old parade spectator, Ethan Finkelstein, first noticed something strange about the confetti when a piece landed on his friend’s coat.
Finkelstein told the New York Post that “A friend of a friend was standing in front of me, and she had a big piece of confetti on her coat. She saw it had something on it, and we read that it said SSN, like social security number.”
“We started picking all of the confetti up, and it had all kinds of stuff-birth dates, addresses, account information. At first, I thought it might be documents from Macy’s employees, until I saw that there were detective’s names and information about crimes in there. This is really shocking.”
It is unknown how these documents became confetti. A Nassau County police source told the New York Post that “[The documents] would have to come from our headquarters. They have stuff that’s supposed to be shredded and go to burn piles. It sounds like some of it ended up where it wasn’t supposed to be.”
A spokesperson for Macy’s stated that they use “commercially manufactured, multicolored confetti, not shredded, homemade, or printed paper of any kind in the parade.”
A police spokesman said that it was too early in the investigation to confirm the legitimacy and importance of the documents.
“The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation. We will be conducting an investigation into this matter, as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents,” Inspector Kenneth Lack told the New York Post.
Fortunately, most of the scraps appear to be unrelated to each other and probably will not lead to security problems or identity theft, according to TIME Magazine.