This week, Wausau Pilot & Review is debuting a new weekly feature that will run every Friday morning: the mugshot gallery.
The mugshots featured in the gallery are from felony charges — not misdemeanors — filed in Marathon County Circuit Court for the previous week. Photos are supplied by the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department.
Posting felony mugshot photos can be controversial, but law enforcement officials and prosecutors say galleries can be a tool to help keep the public safe.
Why? Because they alert the public to criminal behavior in their neighborhoods. They can also help prevent crime and are considered a deterrent.
Many newspapers publish these features, not to shame offenders, but to keep readers informed about public safety issues in their communities. In some cases, mugshot galleries have helped victims identify scam artists who were trying to defraud them and child abusers who were watching their children. The gallery is not meant to shed a negative light on the Wausau area, but to keep residents informed and stimulate conversation about critical issues the community faces.
This week, for example, you might be shocked to see how many meth-related charges are being filed. Unfortunately, in central Wisconsin, this is not a new phenomenon. The sheer number of arrests highlights an ongoing and serious battle police are having with drug activity — one that sends ripples through our community.
This feature will publish every Friday morning. No minors or people charged with misdemeanors or minor infractions are featured.