UPD personnel records will be available to the public

The public will soon have access to law enforcement personnel records, according to Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri.

Posted: Jun 17, 2020 4:24 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2020 5:16 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- Utica Police and the city are taking a bold step in the trek toward transparency. And the mayor says they're the first in the state to do it.

"I've decided to begin the process of posting the personnel records of the Utica Police Department on our website," said Mayor, Robert Palmieri, Wednesday. The mayor says he discussed it with police administration and union leadership, and that there was a consensus.

They're starting at the top; the records of Police Chief Mark Williams and Deputy Chief Ed Noonan, will be the first to be posted on the city's website Monday, June 22.

"As far as the personnel files, yes, it'll be the good and the bad and I agree with that because it should be the entire picture of the police officer, not just the negatives," said Chief Williams.

New York State recently repealed 1970s civil rights law 50a, which means the public can now make a FOIL, or, Freedom of Information Law, request, for those police personnel records. The mayor and the police chief say they're ahead of the curve, regarding transparency. The chairman of the city's Action & Inclusion Committee agrees.

"I think what happens after something like this, it looks like we're being reactive, but, quite honestly, this has been a discussion that we had, that started five years ago," says Chairman, Tony Colon.

After the police chief and assistant chief's information is posted on Monday, the mayor says the city will probably post the records of a few more officers each week.

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