YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
Our guess is Edgerton police don't really think they are denying citizens one of their fundamental rights of freedom by restricting information on arrests. They appear to be acting on some bad legal advice. They probably think their new policy is more efficient or easier somehow. But they're wrong. And it's serious.
That is often the problem with public officials who suddenly decide it's "best" to simply close off to the public information to which the public has a fundamental right. They forget that those rights are at the heart of the freedoms upon which this nation was founded. And none is more important that the right to be protected from secret arrests. By limiting arrest information to, say – last names – as Edgerton police are now doing, is to both deny the arrested person the safety of public scrutiny of the legal system and to implicate innocent others with the same last name.
There are certainly legal avenues to stop this process, but we would hope Edgerton police would simply see their mistake, and fix it.