Everyday Heroes

The power of one small act

Share your stories

Even the smallest moment in a search can produce incredibly powerful, lasting results. You can make a difference using Thomson Reuters CLEAR records resource, PeopleMap on WestlawNext, and Batch – in your organization, community, and profession.

We invite you to share how one small act became a powerful story. Please submit your story – and if we choose it as one of our three winners, you can choose from the following organizations to receive a donation.

Share your stories

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

National Military Family Association

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Alliance to End Homelessness

The Fortune Society

Innocence Project

2014 winning stories

1st place story: GEICO

Using CLEAR to help GEICO customers get the most from their insurance.

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1st place story: GEICO

I work in the insurance industry in the litigation department. I use CLEAR every day to provide our attorneys with accurate information. It amazes me every time how useful this product is for us to help locate uninsured individuals and update their SSN and DOB. Our policyholders, who pay all year for their insurance so they can drive legally protected, are struck by someone who just decided to drive that day with no insurance. CLEAR helps make it possible to reimburse our company and also our policyholders for what was paid out in the claim. It works every day, all day long.

2nd place story: Warrenton Police Department

The number of people I've tracked down has tripled since we started using CLEAR.

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2nd place story: Warrenton Police Department

Ever since I started using CLEAR, my rate of finding people has tripled. The information is accurate and even though there are people who do not use their own information regularly, I can always find a relative or someone who is an associate to an individual, and contact is normally made. Thank you for all you do to keep the information current.

3rd place story: FBI

In seven short years with the FBI, I have assisted in 9 outstanding warrant arrests, with many more to come.

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3rd place story: FBI

Thanks to Thomson Reuters CLEAR records resource, I have managed in my seven short years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in the arrest of nine outstanding warrants and counting. I really do appreciate this service.

The power of real-life success stories

Protecting the Public

Protecting the public

Using CLEAR to Apprehend a Potential School Shooter
One morning, the Pasadena School District received information regarding a threat towards an elementary school in the district. Read story »

Pasadena Independent School District Police Department
Pasadena, Texas

Using CLEAR to Apprehend a Potential School Shooter

One early morning last October, the Pasadena School District received information regarding a threat towards an elementary school in the district obtained through a phone call and online chat with the Veteran's Crisis Hotline. The caller, who would not identify himself, threatened to stage a shooting at the elementary school at 3 p.m. that day using at AK?47 assault rifle.

The only information available from the conversations was the suspect's phone number, several screen names, and the IP address from the chat session that provided coordinates to two geographic areas inside of the city. The resulting fast work of the Pasadena Independent School District Police Department, with help from the FBI, Secret Service, Coast Guard, and Texas Rangers, is a heroic story in which the suspect was found and detained before any harm could be done to the school.

Pasadena ISD Police had been considering the purchase of CLEAR services, but had not entered into a contract or approved the purchase. When the information on the call was received, the detective from the department contacted their CLEAR rep and explained the threat and asked for immediate assistance to perform a reverse lookup search on the phone number provided. The CLEAR search was performed and immediately found that the number was a prepaid phone and also identified the service carrier.

The cell phone service carrier was contacted and provided call, data, and cell tower recordings for the previous 24 hours on the number in question. The call records indicated that the phone belonged to a subject in a nearby small town. The last tower hit by the phone in question aligned with the specific coordinates from the IP address, which was in close proximity to a hotel. Through multi-agency coordination the IP address provided by the Veterans Hotline was confirmed to be located at a local hotel, while the FBI had a possible identification of the caller. With the confirmation of the location and a possible suspect, the Pasadena ISD Detective contacted the hotel and verified that the suspect had checked in only two days before and was ending his stay that day.

The suspect had listed his automobile information upon check?in. While en route to the hotel, the detective contacted the CLEAR representative a second time and provided the suspect information. A comprehensive search on the suspect was emailed to the Detective, pulled from the CLEAR software. Using the CLEAR report, two other jurisdictions were notified to check residences and vehicles belonging to the suspect and family members were being contacted for background information on the subject including possible history of mental illness.

Back on scene, the detective drove through the parking lot of the hotel and discovered the automobile listed on the hotel check?in. The registration returned the suspect. The FBI had a team of agents meet with the local police department at a nearby intersection while detectives staged hotel monitoring from an adjoining room. A local SWAT team took up positions in the hallway and the adjoining room in case the suspect left his room. The detective verified with the hotel manager that the picture of the suspect was the man who had checked into the room.

By 11:54 a.m. the police department made entry to the hotel room and took the suspect into custody without incident. They learned he suffered from major depression and wasn't taking the medications prescribed to him. The suspect subsequently admitted to making the threats to the Veteran's Crisis Hotline and was booked on the charge of Exhibition of a Firearm, a third?degree felony.

As a result of his threat, four separate school districts were on high alert that day, two of which implemented multiple campus lockdowns. All of the agencies working together based on, to a large degree, information provided by CLEAR resulted in the apprehension of a potential school shooter.

Charity: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – $5,000 donation

Batch Helps Protect a Children's Hospital
"... imagine our shock when we discovered that an officer of a vendor attempting to bid for work within our children's hospital was a convicted pedophile." Read story »

Memorial Healthcare System/
Information Management Consultants
Hollywood, Florida

Batch Helps Protect a Children's Hospital: Keeping It Safe, Secure, and Free from Undue Risk.

"Children's hospitals are deemed to be the safest spaces in any hospital system. So you can imagine our shock when we discovered that an officer of a vendor attempting to bid for work within our children's hospital was a convicted pedophile," stated David Alexander, Vice President of Finance, Memorial Healthcare System. "The potential for disaster would have been immeasurable if our hospital system hadn't utilized proactive methods to protect ourselves from high risk vendor profiles."

Memorial Healthcare System (MHS), headquartered in Hollywood, Florida, is the fifth-largest public healthcare network in the United States. It provides more than 1,900 licensed beds in six hospitals at multiple locations throughout the south Broward County area. Our Children's Hospital, the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, established in 1992, combines advanced technology and the expertise of the largest, most diverse group of board certified pediatric specialists in the region.

This hospital is a premier location for our patients and their specialized needs. As such, our hospitals have always maintained a strong compliance program and we expect our vendor/contractor organizations to abide by these standards in connection with business activities with or for our hospital.

Several years ago, MHS was the victim of a sophisticated collusion and kickback fraud scheme perpetrated by internal employees and vendors. Undetected for years and resulting in the loss of millions of dollars, MHS and its partners took action and implemented a system to take a more proactive approach moving forward to prevent a similar situation from happening again.

At the time, we tracked these vendor companies in a large database, but each bid required massive employee hours and scouring of various databases to gain any insight or visibility into the companies we worked with. We relied heavily on the vendors to be truthful and comply with our compliance and bidding programs. That's when Information Management Consultants (IMC) installed the VETTED® system. VETTED® cascades through such WestBatch data sources as corporate registrations and address finders, to identify third - and fourth-degree relationships to determine potential conflicts of interest.

Additionally, the solution employs Thomson Reuters bankruptcy, lawsuits, liens and judgments, and criminal data to determine potential vendor and vendor leadership red flags. Currently, the VETTED® system has flagged for removal of more than fifty vendors from our vendor population that were deemed "high risk". One such vendor had worked with MHS for more than 23 years! It was only after their credentials were run through the program that a past fraud conviction was discovered. Two other vendors were found to be related - a husband and wife team no less - which they chose not to disclose during past registration processes.

Through a request for proposal process, the VETTED® system exposed a vendor that had set up two fictitious companies in addition to the legitimate company to bid on a project. Previously, the process of vetting vendor organizations within a few hours was difficult, but implementing the VETTED system has now provided greater visibility into vendor business activities more quickly. Thus, we are now able to allocate spending to vendors with the least amount of risk to our patients and hospital system.

It was through this new high level automated analysis that we were able to proactively stop a vendor with a convicted pedophile in its leadership from doing business with our children's hospital. This particular vendor registered in the VETTED® portal and made no mention of past criminal convictions even though the opportunity for self-disclosure was available. The conviction was discovered through the automated credentialing process by inputting critical data and sifting through the Thomson Reuters criminal data sources for the best possible match from the waterfall search. Analysts were confident that the data returned from the search was related to the leader of the vendor.

Suspicion was confirmed when the analysts spoke to leadership at the vendor organization and they pleaded for the opportunity for business since the conviction was in the past. That opportunity was denied to the vendor and MHS avoided the possibility of disaster and millions of dollars in potential lawsuits.

"The ability of a healthcare system to recognize the potential for fraud and collusion in their vendor population correlates to their capacity to harness large amounts of data. The VETTED® solution streamlines the consolidation process and organizes the data into an analytical format to uncover high risk vendors," stated Tom Green, Director of Vendor Risk Management at IMC. "It's not just the bottom line that will be protected, but the credibility, reputation and livelihood of all involved."

If you aren't utilizing proactive methods to expose the potential for vendor fraud, collusion, and risk, then you are leaving yourself open to undue threats and substantial revenue loss for your organization. Effective screening of employees and vendors in today's environment is critical for a safe and secure workplace. The team at our Children's Hospital can focus on embracing a patient- and family-centered approach to care, working together to best meet the needs of our littlest patients.

Charity: Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital – $2,500 donation

CLEAR Helps Capture a Shooting Suspect
On 11/15/12, at 4:14 PM, Lynn, Massachusetts Police responded to 12 Linwood St., Lynn, on a report of a person shot. Read story »

Lynn Police Department
Lynn, Massachusetts

CLEAR Helps Capture a Shooting Suspect

On 11/15/12, at 4:14 PM, Lynn, Massachusetts Police responded to 12 Linwood St., Lynn, on a report of a person shot. Upon arrival, officers located a male who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. EMS personnel responded and transported the male to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where his condition was stabilized. Investigators learned that the 29 year-old boyfriend of a female who resided at this address was responsible for the shooting.

On all Lynn Police and Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles records, the address of the suspect was 194 Curwin Circle, Lynn, MA. Investigators responded and searched this location, but the suspect was not located here and his family was uncooperative as to his whereabouts.

A search of the CLEAR database records was conducted on the suspect at 5:05 PM, which revealed an address for him as recent as 3/12/12 at 98 Bridge St., #2L, Salem, MA. Salem Police Department detectives were contacted and they confirmed that they had reports tying the suspect to the address in Salem, and they confirmed the identity of a female who also resided at this address.

During surveillance of the address, people were seen moving about in the second floor apartment and a few moments later three (3) subjects exited the address and movement ceased in the 2nd floor. These subjects were carrying large bags, which they placed in a pick-up truck that was parked in the driveway of the address. The shooting suspect was identified as one of these subjects.

The three subjects then drove away from the address in two (2) vehicles that were then stopped by Salem PD. The shooting suspect was confirmed as being in one of the vehicles and he was placed under arrest for Attempted Murder.

As a Salem PD Patrol Unit initiated a stop of the vehicle the shooting suspect was in, items were thrown from the passenger side front window. After the vehicles were stopped, these items were retrieved and found to contain a quantity of pills. At this time, the passenger in the vehicle, a 26 year-old resident of Lynn, was taken into custody for narcotics charges, which the shooting suspect will face as well. The other vehicle, a Ford F-150, was operated by a girlfriend of the suspect and she was found to have a loaded firearm in her waistband (she was licensed to carry the firearm).

The search of the pickup truck revealed a large quantity of ammunition, two empty firearms boxes, and a Mossberg Shotgun. One of the empty boxes was for a .380 the female was carrying in her waistband. The other was for a Ruger 9mm handgun. The gun was registered to the female, but was not located. It is believed to be the firearm used in the shooting. Further, a search warrant was obtained for apartment #2L at 98 Bridge St., Salem, and an indoor marijuana growing operation was found. The occupants of the apartment face additional narcotics charges.

In sum, following the shooting, investigators had only one Lynn address connected to the shooting suspect. This address was checked and the suspect was not there. There were not even any other potential addresses connected to the suspect when a CLEAR check was conducted and found the address in Salem for the suspect.

In less than an hour after learning this, the suspect was arrested. A quantity of narcotics discarded was also seized and the shooting suspect and the other male were also charged with narcotics offenses. Additionally, the female involved was in the process of moving her firearms and ammunition to another location, likely to separate them from the marijuana growing operation in the event law enforcement personnel came to the address in accordance with the shooting investigation. She also likely supplied the suspect with the firearm used in the shooting.

Prior to conducting the CLEAR check, she had not been connected to the suspect. It was clear that all of these subjects were moving evidence and taking steps to evade law enforcement following the shooting, and if they had been allowed a few more minutes, they would have been successful. Without the current information of the shooting suspect's address from CLEAR, he would have eluded capture for some time, the narcotics and firearms would not have been seized, and the marijuana growing operation would not have been discovered.

Charity: Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund – $1,000 donation

Uncovered Criminal History
On nearly my first use of CLEAR, it was discovered the subject of the search had a federal felony criminal history. Read story »

Uncovered Criminal History

On nearly my first use of CLEAR, after already conducting a search on one of your rivals, it was discovered the subject of the search had a federal felony criminal history. No indication of this in the prior inquiries.

Vermont Department of Corrections
After 21 years on the run, a sex offender was tracked from Vermont to Texas to Mississippi and apprehended. Read story »

Vermont Department of Corrections

In 1989, Vermont had an offender who was convicted of sexual assault on a minor. The offense involved his repeated molestation of his girlfriend's 5 year-old daughter. While on bail, he fled the state prior to sentencing. Over the years attempts were made to locate the offender to no avail. The offender was rumored to have relocated to the State of New York, or with family in Florida or Massachusetts. In 2009, the Vermont Department of Corrections continued its search of the missing sex offender through the use of CLEAR. Investigators were able to track the offender from Vermont to Texas and finally Mississippi. In September of 2010, investigators were able to pin-point the location of the offender, and with the assistance of the Hinds County Sherriff's Department the offender was apprehended. After 21 years on the run he returned to the State of Vermont for incarceration.

Recovering Money

Recovering money

Tool to Make Lives a Little Brighter
I use CLEAR for a lot of different things, but the best for me is finding people who have money coming back to them. Read story »

Tool to Make Lives a Little Brighter

I use CLEAR for a lot of different things, but my "Aha" moment is finding people who have money coming back to them and our office gets to make there lives a little better. I love to hear how happy and excited some of them get others can't believe it at first but thankfully most of the time we can convince them it is really their money. So thank you CLEAR for giving me the tools to locate these people and make there lives a little brighter.

Increased Recoveries by at Least 20%
CLEAR has streamlined my skip tracing duties. It has allowed me to locate assets and increase recoveries by at least 20%. Read story »

Increased Recoveries by at Least 20%

CLEAR has streamlined my skip tracing duties. It has allowed me to locate assets and increase recoveries for my client by at least 20%. Best of all, I can process multiple accounts at the same time and it lets me stay on top of my workload. My "ah ha" moment was finding someone who has eluded other agencies for five years. Thanks CLEAR! You Rock!

Finding People

Finding people

Found after a Year of Searching
Using CLEAR, I was able to run several searches that helped me locate a person we had been trying to locate for more than a year. Read story »

Found after a Year of Searching

Using CLEAR I was able to run several searches that help me locate a person we had been searching for, for over a year. With a good address we were able to serve the person and are moving the case forward.

Connecting a Veteran with a Long-Lost Sister
DLA Piper, LLP partners with Thomson Reuters to help veterans locate their family members. Read story »

Connecting a Veteran with a Long-Lost Sister

DLA Piper, LLP partners with Thomson Reuters at Stand Down in San Diego

In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety. Today, Stand Down refers to a community-based intervention program designed to help the nation's estimated 200,000 homeless veterans "combat" life on the streets. "The program has become recognized as the most valuable outreach tool to help homeless veterans in the nation today," according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

For the past several years, DLA Piper, LLP has teamed with Thomson Reuters to provide free legal services to Veterans in San Diego at this three-day event. Legal professionals from DLA Piper volunteer their time while Thomson Reuters provides free access to their Public Records and PeopleMap databases to help veterans locate their family members. Located in the Communications Tent, volunteers assist veterans in finding loved ones using PeopleMap and then call them for free using phones provided on site.

For many reasons, including chronic homelessness, long-term deployments and medical conditions which resulted from combat, men and women lose contact with their loved ones. PeopleMap is the resource that links our veterans with their loved ones.

So many have benefited from the alliance between DLA Piper and Thomson Reuters, but here are some particularly touching stories of Veterans that have been helped:

  • Using PeopleMap, we were able to help a homeless veteran locate his sister's telephone number. He called her right away and left a message. Later that day, I noticed one of our long distance telephones ringing. Much like it is difficult to walk by a ringing payphone, I answered the call. It turns out it was the sister of this Veteran we helped earlier. She called our phones because she did not recognize the number and it was different from the number her brother had left. She told me she had not spoken to her brother in over 10 years, and if I saw him, I was to let him know that she definitely wanted to talk to him and that she would try to reach him on the number he left her. She asked what Stand Down was and once I let her know the details, she thanked me profusely for being there to support our veterans and for helping her brother find her.
  • Thanks to Westlaw's PeopleMap, we were able to quickly locate the contact information for a veteran who reached out to his daughter. After he talked to her for a long time, he told us that he had not spoken with her in over 16 years. He was thrilled to reconnect with her and thanked us repeatedly.
  • Another memorable moment was one of our attorneys used PeopleMap to help a man locate his twin sister who he had not spoken to in almost 20 years. The attorney located the veteran's twin sister, and he was able to call her on the phones we provided. They spoke for over an hour, and she was able to give him contact information for other family members. When he hung up the phone, this burly man, easily over 6 feet tall, had tears running down his face. He could not thank us enough for finding his lost loved ones and for giving him the means to make immediate contact with them.

Those of us in the San Diego office of DLA Piper are so grateful to utilize the power of Westlaw PeopleMap to quickly and accurately locate public record information to help our homeless veterans.

Finding a Noncustodial Parent
Using CLEAR, I was able to track down multiple connections that led to the location of the defendant. Read story »

Finding a Noncustodial Parent

We had an NCP (non custodial parent) who had been missing for nine years. Relatives and Associates led me to a person who had "heard" that the defendant had been seen by a friend of a friend. CLEAR was able to track down this friend of a friend who had direct knowledge that led to the location of the defendant, his being served, and convicted for contempt.

Speeding Up the Claims Process
Recently I was able to locate a patient through CLEAR that the insurance carrier had not heard from in months. Read story »

Speeding Up the Claims Process

We have times when patients are hard to locate and this slows the resolution of the claim process. Recently, I was able to locate a patient through CLEAR that the insurance carrier had not heard from in months. I contacted the patient, who was happy to talk to me. The patient connected with the insurance carrier and now the claim will be resolved. The patient had financial hardship, but once the patient received a settlement check and a substantial discount for the hospital bill, this allowed the patient to receive additional money and helped alleviate the financial burdens. I really like CLEAR the best for skip tracing. The skip tracing has helped me tremendously.

Everyday Heroes videos

2013 2nd Place

2013 2nd Place

2012 Winner

2012 Winner

Moving It Forward

Moving It Forward

Turn the power of one small act into a powerful story.

Submit your success story or your "aha" moment and you'll not only have the chance to donate to a worthy organization, we'll send you an Everyday Heroes coffee mug and cookie simply for sending us your story.

Share your stories