According to T.C.A. § 40-38-606(a), state and local government officials must accept the substitute address as a program participant’s address when creating a new public record. This includes all state and local law enforcement agencies.
The substitute address must be used in place of a home, work or school address on all new records created by a law enforcement agency such as:
- incident reports
- witness statements
- arrest reports
- any document or database entry regarding a Safe at Home participant
Once an officer is aware that someone is a Safe at Home participant, the officer should not require the participant to disclose his or her confidential address. Program participants are responsible for informing officers that they participate in the Safe at Home Program and are requesting address confidentiality. Officers may request to see the participant’s authorization card to verify participation. Questions regarding the use of the authorization card may be directed to the Safe at Home Program.
The Safe at Home Program may release the information of a participant if a law enforcement agency has a bona fide or administrative need for obtaining it and makes an official request. The full requirements of written requests for Safe at Home participant information can be found at T.C.A. § 40-38-609. In extreme situations, the chief law enforcement official of a law enforcement agency may make an emergency request for limited disclosure of a participants information, but only in the manner prescribed by the Secretary of State. If you need additional information concerning this process, please contact the Office of the Secretary of State.