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Where are the Catskill police records?

Jan 22, 2010 3:37 am
Dick May's "Seeing Greene" blog takes on the Catskill Police Department's lack of transparency as Village Police Chief Dave Darling will not release arrest reports. In the best local internet drama of the week, May accuses and lets Darling respond.
He pretends, contrary to established law, that his officers’ incident and action reports are not public documents. For his success in sustaining that fiction, Chief Darling depends on the acquiescence, if not the active support, of his employers: the Village Trustees. And for the endurance of their collusion in this law-snubbing practice, the Trustees and the chief depend on the passivity of appropriate protestors, such as publishers of newspapers and, gulp, of news blogs.

Chief Darling disputes our version of his position. When asked (on Thursday, 1/14) to respond to the preceding paragraph, he said “It’s not fair, and it’s not accurate. I never said that our reports are not public documents.” He maintained, however, that “I have no way of giving you free access to our ‘blotter’. Our incident and action reports are now done on-line; no more ring binders full of paper. Internet access to the on-line reports is restricted to authorized personnel. And I’m not going to let just anybody come into a secured area at police headquarters, and sit down for an hour or more in front of one of our computer screens reading a day’s or a week’s reports.”
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