Under a new policy implemented by Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa, the department will no longer post the names of people arrested for less serious crimes on their Facebook page and other social media platforms. The sheriff’s office announced the new policy on Monday.
Instead of including the names of those arrested, posts announcing arrests will simply provide their age, gender and details of the incident. Figueroa said that the policy would apply to less serious, mostly non-felony crimes. The office will include suspect’s names in press releases distributed directly to news organizations and upon request from reporters. Figueroa said that the agency would continue to post names on social media in cases where suspects remained at large or when it was otherwise deemed necessary to protect public safety.
“This is really the press’ responsibility,” said Figueroa. “And we are not the press.”
Figueroa noted that people arrested are considered innocent until proven guilty in court and added that he hoped that the new policy would help build trust between the department and the community.