USA Today Network unveils database of police disciplinary records
Sean Lahman is reporting for the Poughkeepsie Journal journalists with the USA Today Network have been gathering police disciplinary records, from departments throughout New York since the law was changed in June 2020, in an effort to make the documents available to the public for the first time in more than 40 years. The records were previously protected under Section 50a of the state Civil Rights Law. On Mon., Dec. 6, the USA Today Network shared the information compiled so far with the public in the form of a searchable database. The database uses records acquired through the state Freedom of Information laws, as well as those collected from records available on department websites. Some of the publicly available records are incomplete and omit references to serious reported incidents. Many of the 500 police agencies statewide, including those in Columbia and Greene counties, have not provided documents in response to requests and may not return results. The records that have been accessed provide a greater understanding of patterns of officer behavior within departments and insight into what constitutes internal disciplinary proceedings. Read more in the Poughkeepsie Journal.