Oneida County To Continue Release of Mugshots
Citing the language of a new state law that sought to ban the public release of mugshots, Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says his department will continue the practice of releasing photos of suspects who are arrested.
''After consulting with our colleagues and consulting with our [New York State Sheriffs] association officials we feel confidently that we are not doing anything wrong by releasing mugshots, pursuant to our policy,'' Maciol said
Maciol, also president of the New York State Sheriffs Association, believes policies of public safety and public transparency of his own office are justification for continuing the policy.
''So if someone is in a neighborhood that's been arrested for, ya know harming a child or abusing a child, whatever the case may be - I mean we want people to be aware who is in their neighborhood,'' Maciol said.
He also mentioned registered sex offenders or a person with a history of breaking into homes or cars as examples of the public's right to know who lives nearby.
''Secondly, we're also about transparency...transparency to the public in everything that we do, people that we arrest and things that we come across. We've always been open and honest to the public. So, the sheriff's office here in Oneida County - not speaking for other departments or agencies - We will continue to release mugshots.''
The sheriff seems to be eyeing vague language in the bill that allows law enforcement to release such photos 'for a specific law enforcement purpose'.
''When you interpret the wording and verbiage in that policy, that's where we're coming up with the determination that we will continue to release them. We feel it doesn't pertain to the sheriff's office.''
Governor Cuomo had argued that release booking photos of persons arrested - and not necessarily convicted - was an invasion of privacy. Other supporters argued the pictures are often embarrassing and may lead to public convictions of people who hadn't been convicted in a courtroom.
Maciol is scheduled to join Keeler in the Morning on Tuesday.