For the past several years, WPTV.com has hosted popular online photo galleries that display the most recent arrest booking photos from Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties.
These images and associated charges are public information and readily available on the county sheriffs’ websites. However, WPTV’s system made them easier to access and view.
We have decided to remove this feature from our website and app because we’ve come to the conclusion that these online images are readily available to the public elsewhere. Also, for some of the people pictured, the photos represent the worst day of their lives. The digital footprint the images leave behind can make it difficult for them to successfully move on.
It should be noted that in 2017, then-Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law that requires websites that publish mugshots to take them down upon request if the person pictured is not convicted. That has always been WPTV’s policy, even prior to the law.
We will continue to use individual booking photos with crime stories, but the galleries are gone.
We know that some visitors will miss the feature, but we hope you will understand. We will continue to publish the weekly Crime Stoppers most wanted fugitives gallery as a public service.
For those who are interested in viewing the arrest booking photos from the two sheriffs' offices, they can be found on their respective websites: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.