Briefing Room: names of arrestees are public record

SBPD social media campaign humanizes law enforcement, protects public

Hi Seal Beach!  If you follow us on our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), you’ll see that we post a variety of content to our pages.  Everything from rain and weather alerts, crime prevention tips, community and Police Department updates, historical photos, the training we attend, crime statistics, and businesses we patronize, and so much more.

I’m proud to say that we’ve developed quite the following, and that we’ve used social media to help inform, and connect with our Seal Beach community.  Most of all, I’m proud of the fact that we’ve used humor to help humanize law enforcement, and that we can show Seal Beach just how hard we are working to keep this town safe.

Another thing we have done is post about notable arrests that we have made.  We do this for a couple of reasons.  First, we want the community to know that there are people out there who are willing to victimize this community.  We don’t say this to scare you, but so that you can be aware that crime does happen here, and that you are part of the solution to help stop crime.  Second, what we release is public record.

The California Government Code §6254 says (in part), that law enforcement agencies can release the following information: “The full name and occupation of every individual arrested by the agency, the individual’s physical description including date of birth, color of eyes and hair, sex, height and weight, the time and date of arrest, the time and date of booking, the location of the arrest, the factual circumstances surrounding the arrest, the amount of bail set, the time and manner of release or the location where the individual is currently being held, and all charges the individual is being held upon, including any outstanding warrants from other jurisdictions and parole or probation holds.”

For several years we’ve partnered with the Sun News to provide our arrest log for publishing.

There’s also another purpose for posting photos of suspects on our social media channels.  It is rare for a criminal just to commit one crime and be done.  Normally, suspects will commit strings of crimes until they are caught.

By posting a suspect’s photo, we can help get their image out there with the hope that he or she will be recognized by another victim.

Our goal with social media is to keep the community informed, and to help increase the trust the community has in their Police Department.  If that means posting a humorous story about an arrest, or releasing information about people who have committed crimes in our city, we will continue to do just that.

We don’t do it because we care about fake internet points and count each like we get, we do it so you know what we do to protect you each day and night.

If you aren’t following us already, please look us up @sealbeachpolice.  I think you’ll like what you see.

Keep your questions coming!  Email with your questions today!