Winnebago County Online Mugshots Coming Soon

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Putting a face with a crime is about to become a whole lot easier in Winnebago Count because the sheriff is planning to put all inmate mugshots online.

The online system will be up and running by the middle of next month. Once someone is booked into jail their mugshot will go into a public database;the minute they get out of jail the picture will be deleted.

Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers says he initially had some concerns about posting pictures of first-time offenders waiting for trial, but the law says all mugshots are public so why not put them online. The site will look like this one from Polk County, Iowa (see video). It will show a picture, a name, a birth date, and what the person is charged with. The site will be linked from the sheriff's website.

Meyers said, "It's just a method of making it easier on everybody and making it more available to the general public without having to come down here and ask or whatever if you can get it online and go view it, it's a better thing."

The sheriff told me he doesn't think the website will make criminals think twice, but it will make the jail more transparent. The county's information technology department is setting up the website so it's automatically updated--that's why it's not costing much money.

Today there are just under a thousand people in the jail. More than 90 percent of them are there on felony charges.

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  • by Coolestmomuknow Location: Winnebago County on Jan 20, 2012 at 10:02 AM
    Who doesn't know of someone who has been arrested based on accusation's. In some situations there is NO variation to the law. Domestic is Domestic, man or woman, if the police are called, someone is going to jail, reguardless of whether anyone was actually touched or reguardless of who started it. In cases of sexual abuse, the accused is going to jail til he see's the judge & then it's sorted out.... in both situations, it is always best people are seperated, what if it was your family member that was accused of either of those & you know they could not of done those horrible things they are charged with.... would you like their face, arrest & court record public for all to see & judge? I know I would NOT...
  • by Terri Location: rockford on Jan 19, 2012 at 08:49 PM
    Great Idea! I love it!! For the most part these people are guilty and I would like to know who they are. The way crime is in this city...we need to be as informed as we can.
  • by Really? on Jan 5, 2012 at 12:34 PM
    Not cool. what happened to innocent until proven guilty? I could have anyone arrested on bogus charges just to embarrass them....not good. Once they are found guilty and serving time, then put up the picture.
    • reply
      by Dave on Jan 6, 2012 at 06:51 AM in reply to Really?
      This is the only logical comment on this site other than mine.
  • by Earnest Location: Rockford on Jan 4, 2012 at 11:15 PM
    This is a good thing, now I can see who the bad guy is.
    • reply
      by Dave on Jan 6, 2012 at 06:50 AM in reply to Earnest
      So again we have another guilty until proven innocent.
  • by Jan Location: Byron on Jan 4, 2012 at 08:51 PM
    Dave - you just don't get it. Great to be able to see what sort of neighbors you have and if you should have any worries. Get a clue.
    • reply
      by Dave on Jan 6, 2012 at 06:49 AM in reply to Jan
      Sorry Jan, Most of my neighbors work every day, pay taxes and go about thier business. We don't have time to scan mug shots. So you need to get a clue. You see a picture and in your mind you see guilt. That is what your statement eludes to. Go do some laundry, clean the house and wait for your hubby to get home. You sound like a subservient little house wife that plays on the computer and watches soaps all day.
  • by Diane on Jan 4, 2012 at 06:16 PM
    This i think will be good....i like this idea...
  • by Deb Location: Rockford on Jan 4, 2012 at 04:44 PM
    Its about time! Many cities have this service and some counties even link up as many as 4 counties online under 1 link. That would less of a cost to taxpayers if it was shared.
  • by Dave Location: Rockford on Jan 4, 2012 at 02:26 PM
    This is a complete waste of time and all at the expense of taxpayers.
    • reply
      by JAW on Jan 4, 2012 at 09:38 PM in reply to Dave
      I LOVE this idea. Dave your a complete waste time and do u even pay taxes or do u save your $$ for bail?
      • reply
        by no way on Jan 5, 2012 at 12:35 PM in reply to JAW
        Jaw you are an idiot. I think this is the second stupid post I have read from you.
      • reply
        by Dave on Jan 6, 2012 at 06:45 AM in reply to JAW
        So its guilty until proven innocent? Post a mug shot and you don't even have a convicted felon. Jaw for you information I own a biz, I employ others, I own rentals. I likely pay more in real estate taxes than you probably make annually. So you must be one of the losers that looks at mug shots all day, scans for sex offenders in your neighborhood(news for you they are in every neighborhood) then off to pick up your link card via the bus and then off for your free government cheese. So go watch MTV and get your bong out and leave this conversation up to the intelligent folks.
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