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Support H.B. 2118 to open up police logs.

In 1981, the Worcester Police logbook recorded all arrests with the date, the time, the address, the name, the charge, and the arresting officer. The log remained this way for about the next 30 years.

Today, the log contains more information about some arrests than it did in 1981 but far less for other arrests and nothing on some other arrests.

For example, the most complete entry I looked at on March 16 included the date of the arrest, time of the arrest, location, booking type, 13-digit arrest number, name of the arresting officer, name of the booking officer, status of the arrest, date and time of release, who set the bail, who provided the bail, bail amount, arrestees' name, sex, race, age, list of charges, statute under which the person was arrested, the violation, legal description.

In another entry, everything was blackened out except the 13-digit arrest number, the date and time of the arrest, the booking type, and the arresting officer. In a third entry, everything was blackened out.

How can we hold law enforcement responsible for what they do, or even keep track of prisoners, if we cannot find out who's been arrested, and the details surrounding their arrest in a timely matter?

We should all support House Bill 2118, which Rep. Josh S. Cutler, D-Duxbury has filed, which would remove the confidentiality requirement for police logs.



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Title Annotation:Editorials
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 27, 2015
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