Last week, a New York state senator blasted MuckRock’s latest transparency project to access police disciplinary records, calling it an “unintended consequence” of recent legislation designed to allow access to police disciplinary records.
“At a time when localities are struggling to meet their regular expenses because of the crushing impact that COVID-19 has had on their budgets, it is outrageous that they will now be required to devote precious staff time and taxpayer dollars towards searching, copying, faxing and emailing decades-old personnel files containing groundless claims, even those where the officers involved have been deceased for decades,” New York State Sen. George Borrello said in press release after becoming aware of a FOIL request sent by MuckRock to the Town of Cuba, NY, along with every other police department in the states.
The effort to collect and review that information, Borello hypothesized, could disrupt services to the public during the pandemic and could unfairly tarnish police officers’ reputations.
The town itself, however, said it was continuing to process the request without problem. Cuba Police Department Chief Dustin Burch said the department had mailed an acknowledgment letter (certified) and was working on preparing the records for release. You can read more here and check out the rest of the records requests on the project page.