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Drug arrestee photos to be put on police website

In this week’s Issues Update from the city, it was revealed that the police department will be doing for drug dealers and users what they’ve done for prostitutes and johns: publish their pictures on the web:

The Police Department is preparing to launch a new facet of the website relative to drug arrests. The Department intends to publish the names and photographs of persons arrested at drug houses during raids. Each entry will be listed by address and will identify all persons who were arrested during an operation. The Department would expect there will be two exceptions to the published photos; persons arrested for warrants only and those who do not have any new charges stemming from the raid will not be published. Additionally, persons may need to be excluded to protect the confidentiality of subsequent investigations. For example, a small-time drug dealer may choose to cooperate with investigators and assist the Department in making cases against suppliers. In such cases, it may be necessary to protect their identity and not publish their photo.

What do you think of this idea?

33 comments to Drug arrestee photos to be put on police website

  • Thomas

    I think it’s a good idea, but needs some adjustment regarding what information is published. The first exception listed implies that someone’s information will published if they are “charged.” (Perhaps I’m just reading it wrong) Shouldn’t it be based on conviction? Otherwise they’re labeling people as drug-dealers based only on charges.

    Granted there probably aren’t a lot of innocent, law-abiding people hanging out at a drug house. Regardless, they’re still innocent until proven guilty.

    Assuming that only convicted persons have their info published, I think it’s a great idea.

  • mahkno

    I miss updates to the Peoria Crack House blog.

    Yeah shaming the dealers is a win. The users… we should pity them more than shame them. We also need to shame the landlords, who out of gross negligence rent to these asshats. I just don’t buy the whole, “we didn’t know” argument. These landlords can be just as scummy as the dealers they rent to.

  • Peo Proud

    Not a bad idea — however, most drug dealers are going to know when a raid has occurred in their area (fortunately it’s not that large a population). All they’ll need to do is check out the City’s website and if they don’t see an individual’s photo – they can surmise that the individual might be cooperating with the police. Other than this little flaw in the logic of exceptions, couldn’t hurt. Though a small part of me feels sorry for someone listed as charged but that isn’t convicted.

  • James Lansberry

    Anyone ever heard of the Constitution?

  • What’s this “Weekly Issues” of which you speak? I might be interested in gaining access to such a thing.

  • Peo Proud

    Seth -

    It’s a weekly “info” bulletin distributed by the City Manager to the City Council. It is designed to present information on a variety of topics that they should be aware of. Many times the City Manager provides responses to Council requests, information that they should be aware of, background information on items that may be coming before them in the near future, and other items of interest to the Council.

    It was implemented by prior City Manager Randy Oliver as a way to increase communication with the Council members and to ensure that they had equal access to info (among other reasons).

  • Seth — What Peo Proud said. I would only add that it’s public information, and you can get a copy of it if you want by contacting the City Clerk’s office and asking to be added to the distribution list (it comes out via e-mail). Also, it’s not exactly weekly. It comes out periodically, usually before a council meeting.

  • mahkno

    “fortunately it’s not that large a population”

    When we moved to Peoria nearly 12 years ago, I remember getting a Sunday Journal Star (for the home sale ads) and noting the headline. The headline was to the effect that the drug trade was the THIRD largest employer in the Peoria area. 1) Cat, 2) Hospitals, 3) drugs. I don’t think it has changed much since then.

    That population might be larger than you think.

  • kcdad

    Are they still putting the prostitutes and their clients on the website?

  • It could use some work. If it was restricted to dealers, maybe. But for users? Don’t these people have enough problems without having their picture plastered all over the web?

  • Helmut O' Hooligan

    Shaming drug users and dealers will not only be ineffective, it also happens to miss the point: the drug war has failed and is not consistent with supposed American values of liberty and personal responsibility.Drug addicts are dealing with irrational cravings. Having their photos posted will not diminish these cravings. Dealers will not be impressed by this, and may even view their photos as a badge of courage. Often times, they are quite proud of themselves, as being a dealer has become a position of prestige in ghetto neighborhoods.

    This entire dynamic was set into motion by this war on (some) drugs. Drug prohibition is helping to destroy neighborhoods in Peoria and beyond. Let’s treat people like adults and let them make their own choices about what they smoke, ingest, snort, etc.. A legal but well-regulated market for currently illicit drugs will gradually lead to fewer deaths from inevitable violence in public drug markets. And if we stop infantalizing our fellow citizens, maybe they will learn to make intelligent choices about drug use.

  • kcdad

    It isn’t about shaming the drug dealers that are caught, it is about making “normal” people feel afraid, and dependent. It is about keeping them in line so that they don’t end up with their pictures in the paper.

  • How are the drug dealers going to be shamed? I don’t think their client base does much internet browsing, their neighbors already know they are dealing and something tells me they don’t have employers to worry about. A junkie or abuser looking for a fix probably isn’t too worried about his or her picture ending up in the paper.

  • TaxMeMore

    So a 20 year old Bradley student ALLEGEDLY getting caught with a joint is going to be put on a website. How does this help anyone? It ONLY does more harm than good.

    Then consider that a 40 year old drunk can allegedly physically beat up another man causing personal injury to an actual victim, and they won’t have their picture put on a website.

    What about shoplifters? Check kiters? Welfare and benefits frauds? Government corruption? Identity thieves? Why not identity thieves, come on?

    This is way out of proportion and proves we need to reform the failed drug war when we are letting people out of jail early for physical violence and theft to make room for recreational pot smokers and their mandatory minimums.

  • Key word *arrested*, not convicted. Settingsgard will think its a great idea until the first time one of his own kids or loved ones is falsely accused or in the wrong place at the wrong time. What a difficult predicament THAT could be. Suddenly, it might not be such a great idea. Think about it.. we are all just a mis-step away. You or yours might be next. Very dangerous precedent. Very bad idea.

  • 11Bravo

    I don’t think the Chief has put much thought into how much bandwidth and server space that is going to take, someone better make a call to GoDaddy to upgrade the hosting account!

  • That will be the least of his problems.

  • Helmut O' Hooligan

    Excellent points by diane vespa! Folks fail to realize the important differences between people who are arrested and convicted. And people approve of strategies like this (and the drug war in general) because they think they and their loved ones will never be negatively affected by drug war actions. They are nice, upstanding citizens who aren’t involved in criminal activity.

    Well, think again! “Wrong address” raids are not that unusual. Google the name Cheye Calvo, for instance. Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights, MD (Prince George’s County) was recently the victim of a raid in which his dogs were shot to death and he and his mother-in-law were interrogated for hours. He was innocent, by the way. Or consider the case of the late Rachel Hoffman. Hoffman was a recent college grad from Tallahasse, FL and, from what I can tell, a small-time pot dealer (she probably sold to her friends). After being arrested, Tallahassee police pressured her into becoming an informant. They sent her to make a deal for drugs AND weapons and she was killed by some street wise (probably mid-level drug dealers). But I suppose she deserved this cruel fate because she was a “criminal.” I could go on, but I don’t have enough time.

  • I got wordy on a reply, so I made a blogpost about it. Hope you don’t mind, CJ, that I post the link here…

    http://peoriarocks.blogspot.co.....ocent.html

  • prego man

    Typical Chief Norse-God plan. There’s a really swell police station about 200 miles north of the Illinois border, just waiting for him to show up, and keep all of those snowmobile thiefs in check.

    Right here, in River City, he still doesn’t fit… and neither do his “anti-crime” plans. He doesn’t get it, and he never will.

  • ImaSwede

    Snow mobile thefts? hmmm… I think there is a job opening in Alaska for a governor now.

  • prego man

    I don’t think so. She’s only gone halfway through her term. She’ll be able to finish it after the first Tuesday in November. By that time, to the Republicans, she’ll be qualified for Supreme Court Justice.

  • No, she would have to have a legal background for that wouldn’t she?

  • mahkno

    You don’t have to be a lawyer to be a supreme court justice.

  • mahkno

    “Who is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court is a determination made on a nominee by nominee basis by at least 51 US senators. There are no set rules for qualification. Although every past justice has been a lawyer, 41 of the 109 justices had no prior judicial experience.”

  • Martin Palmer

    What is the big deal, The PJS puts there name and address in the paper when they are arrested (not convicted.)Now they will have a picture to go along with it on the PPD webb site.

  • Helmut O' Hooligan

    The problem, Martin, is that law enforcement should not be involved to this extent in regulating private, consensual, behavior. To put people’s pictures on the web is just putting salt in the wound, in my opinion. It is a PR gimmick that is being used to satisfy “tough on crime” voters. It does nothing to address the root of the problem which is prohibition itself.

  • kcdad

    Think how easy it will be to discredit an opponent now.. just have him arrested, publish his mugshot, and then drop the charges… with a quiet apology… the message is sent and received.

    (Just a reminder, the power to arrest is the power to coerce)

  • Karrie E. Alms

    This is not a good idea. For the first ten years, we lived across from three drug houses. In the middle of the night, patrons would mistake our home for drug house across the street — we removed our doorbell so that we could get some sleep. It took ten years to eradicate this problem. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? kcdad — I agree with you on this one! :)

  • DUI’s are next. Just watch him.

  • [...] number of commenters on an earlier post argued that the police should not put photos of those arrested in drug raids because people are [...]

  • [...] As promised, the Peoria Police Department has a new section on its website called the Drug Nuisance Property section. If you click on the months in the left-column menu, you can see mug shots of those “individuals [who] were arrested for various offenses at the listed addresses.” The police go on to say, “It is hoped that the photos of the arrested individuals will serve as a deterrent to others.” [...]