The Weber County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) as well as other sheriff offices along the Wasatch front became concerned about what is perceived as the misuse of booking photos we release. There are publications and websites who obtain WCSO booking photos and copy/reproduce them. Many of these organizations then require exorbitant fees to remove these photos from their websites. Some of these publications and websites also group photos with headings that characterize their opinion of the person in the photo.
The WCSO feels that the release of multiple booking photos to various organizations was enabling the misuse of booking photos in large quantities for reproduction. The WCSO administration considered a variety of options regarding the release of booking photos. These options ranged from no change in our practice at all, to requiring a GRAMA request for each and every booking photo prior to release. It was determined at this time that the WCSO will discontinue mass distribution of booking photos. However the WCSO website continues to be available for anyone to search and access booking photos. We feel this is a fair compromise in an effort to balance the public access of these photos with the concern that they not be used for questionable purposes.
The WCSO is still evaluating this new practice. We may modify it further if we feel that WCSO booking photos continue to be misused.
Lieutenant Mark Lowther
Public Information officer
Weber County Sheriff’s Office