Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Primary 2012: Raney, Fresh Off Victory, Takes on Mugshots

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 6:47 AM

Gary Raney had plenty to celebrate last night: a landslide victory, his 50th birthday and a trip to Hawaii with his wife. If all went as planned, the Raneys are on a westbound flight as this post is published.

In the wake of his victory, the Ada County sheriff spoke to Citydesk about a high-profile issue that he has decided to take head on: mugshots. With the growing popularity of so-called “mugshot of the day” websites, Raney said he had received complaints from people saying they had found their photo on one or more of the websites. And some said website owners had asked for money before considering removing the mugshots.

“A couple people contacted us," said Raney. "They said they were extorted, for lack of a better term.”

Raney said he is looking "for a balance" between the people knowing they had made mistakes and not wanting to affect their futures. An example Raney used was a small business owner.

“They made a mistake, violated the law,” he said. “But at the same time, we don’t want to hurt small business.”

Raney has already begun an effort to have the photos taken down. His department has added a watermark to the photos, which would essentially lead to a copyright infringement if they are used improperly.

“Just today, we contacted Facebook over a group, Boise Mugshot of the Day,” said Raney. "We will continue but again, it’s a balance to see how much it would cost the taxpayers of Ada County.”

Raney's department plans to keep mugshots up on its website, but, he said, he doesn't want people to profit from others' mistakes.

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