South Carolina news groups are speaking out against a local sheriff’s office that is refusing to release crime information after business hours, according to The Associated Press.
The newswire reported that The Island Packet of Hilton Head and The Beaufort Gazette had to wait until Dec. 1 to get crime reports from the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office has stopped releasing information on holidays and weekends, saying the reports have to be redacted by personnel who only work during regular business hours — and those redactions are needed to protect the privacy of the people involved.
Deputies say the records law only assures police reports will be available “during the hours of operations of the public body,” according to The AP.
Jay Bender, a lawyer for the news service, countered that "the police are in the business of protecting the people, not protecting privacy.”