Fuschillo Legislation to Help Police Positively Identify Suspects Passed by Senate

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

February 06, 2012

Police Officers Would Have Routine Digital Access to an Individual’s Driver License Photo in the Field Under Proposed Law

        Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that the New York State Senate passed legislation he sponsors to give police greater resources to positively identify suspects. The legislation would allow officers to have routine access to DMV driver license photo images when performing their duties.

        “Photographs are one of the most helpful tools in verifying someone’s identity. It makes no sense that police officers are prohibited from accessing that information in the field. Allowing officers to access a suspect’s driver’s license photo in the field will greatly enable them in performing their duties effectively and safely,” said Senator Fuschillo.

        Under current law, police officers have digital access to an individual’s driving record, as well as the physical description listed on that person’s driver’s license (sex, height, eye color, and birth date) when they are in the field performing their duties. However, they do not have routine access to that individual’s driver license photo, eliminating a major resource which can help them verify someone’s identity.

        Senator Fuschillo’s legislation (S4070) would allow police officers to have routine access to driver’s license and learner’s permit photos when performing their duties in the field.

        "We appreciate Senator Fuschillo's efforts to give police officers a critical new tool while conducting investigations. It's especially important in an era where technology has made it far too easy to make fake IDs and steal someone's identity. Giving officers immediate access to computerized photo images would help prevent drivers from impersonating innocent individuals and ensure that they do not escape justice," said Peter Paterson, Legislative Chairman of the New York State Association of PBAs.

        “Having digital DMV photos readily accessible for investigations would be an invaluable tool for detectives. These photos would greatly benefit us in performing our duties, as well as help us expose the growing problem of identity theft. We thank Senator Fuschillo for sponsoring this legislation and the Senate for approving it," said Glenn Ciccone, President of the Nassau County Detectives' Association Incorporated.

        The legislation has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.