August 31, 2021

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Sharing Unauthorized Crime Scene Photos

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Public Safety

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol.

Today’s Tip is for all of my public safety friends. All of us in law enforcement, fire, and corrections have witnessed our fair share of blood and gore. Loss of human life is always tragic, regardless of the reason. Unfortunately, one of our responsibilities involves dealing with tragedy.

What about those who think it’s okay to take pictures of the carnage, death, and destruction for personal reasons? I’ll put it bluntly – Don’t do it!

With modern technology at our fingertips, we can assess injuries and memorialize important facts or information during emergency response. This includes taking photographs for legitimate public safety purposes. But what about those who think it’s okay to take pictures of the carnage, death, and destruction for personal reasons? I’ll put it bluntly – Don’t do it! You’ll find story after story of public sector folks taking pictures of dead bodies or crime scenes and sharing the photos with friends, just for some good ole fashioned story telling.

Think about it this way. If your loved one was killed, would you want a picture of his or her body passed around for entertainment value? Or posted on the Internet for the world to see? I’m sure we know the answer.

California just passed a law making it illegal for first responders to take photographs of a deceased person for non-public safety related purposes. I can imagine other states may follow. Maybe they already have in your jurisdiction by the time you watch this Tip. It shouldn’t matter whether it’s illegal in your state or against your policy. It should only matter that we respect victims and their families by protecting sensitive information.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Until next time, Gordon Graham signing off.

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