Local Police Chief Says Public Has Right To See Mugshots, Booking Information

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ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recently proposed executive budget includes a proposition that would block public access of mugshots and booking information, according to a Cuomo spokesperson, who said the information would be labeled an “unwanted invasion of personal privacy.”

WNYNewsNow reached out to Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano Wednesday morning for comment. Ortolano said that he couldn’t specifically address Cuomo’s position as he hasn’t completely researched the topic.

Ortolano, however, said that he believes that people have the right to observe mugshots and obtain booking information.

“In my opinion, depending on the crime, I do believe the residents of the community do have the right to know who’s committing those crimes,” Ortolano. “It’s good for them to know who the people are that are committing these crimes in their community and recognize who’s committing crimes that are affecting quality of life in their neighborhoods.”

Ortolano declined comment on how Cuomo’s proposal would affect his department’s operations. Ortolano, again, said that he hasn’t seen the full details of Cuomo’s proposal, and the proposal hasn’t even been introduced to the State Legislature.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson, when reached by phone Wednesday, declined to comment, citing that the issue involves a public policy that wouldn’t have a huge impact on his office.

WNYNewsNow has also reached out to other law enforcement leaders throughout Chautauqua County for comment. When and if comment is received, we will provide a follow-up article.

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