Legislation lets most police agencies decide whether to release mugshots

The new mugshot legislation that passed in the state budget this month has been sometimes described as a mugshot “ban.” That’s not entirely accurate — most local law enforcement agencies will be able to choose whether they make mugshots public or not.

Ron Holdraker is known for publishing mugshots in his newspaper, the Times of Wayne County. Anyone with a misdemeanor arrest or higher is featured in print and online.

Holdraker said mugshots are his most popular section, along with obituaries, and that this new legislation won’t stop him from featuring them.

“We’ve been doing this 30 years,” Holdraker said. “So I was pleased when the local sheriff’s departments said (they’re) not gonna follow it either.”

Because of the way the law is written, only the New York State Police are actually prohibited from releasing mugshots to the public in the absence of a reason that doing so would be in the public interest, such as a prison break.

Thus, Holdraker said, the law won’t affect his business. He wishes the law had specifically targeted “bad actors” – namely websites that publish mugshots

... read more at: https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/38449/20190414/legislation-lets-most-police-agencies-decide-whether-to-release-mugshots