How to Get a Police Blotter Removed From the Internet

January 25, 2021
how to remove a police blotter from the internet
how to remove a police blotter from the internet
Police officer taking fingerprints from suspect

What is a Police Blotter?

The term “police blotter” is a slang term that actually goes back as far as the 16th century in Europe. Back then, there was no formal police force but rather some communities and groups of traders, merchants, church members, and others would employ a private ‘security’ force to protect their goods. They would also pay private citizens for capturing and convicting known thieves in an early form of bounty hunting.

In any case, what’s important here, is that the organizations hiring the security would keep track of events in a large record-keeping notebook. The term “blotter” comes from a type of paper or material that was used to clean up excess ink that commonly occurred when keeping those types of records. But somehow, the term “blotter” became synonymous with the record itself of arrests and other events that occurred during the course of law.

Today, we use the full term “police blotter” to refer to any blog, newspaper section, or similar publically-accessible record that records outstanding warrants, arrests, convictions, and other matters related directly to police events and community safety. How much information is shared on a police blotter will depend on several factors, primarily how large a community is and how relevant the police blotter is to the content hoster.

For example, a local newspaper for a large community will probably only put in the most critical events as well as those events that they may find “entertaining” to their readers, such as some public indecency arrests. In contrast, a blog that specializes in neighborhood events may put up every arrest in their police blotter segment.

Events on either and all types of police blotters will include the time of the event, the names of the person involved, and what the event entailed. So, for example, indexed on a county newspaper’s police blotter for January 12, 2021, there might be the following information:

  • Outstanding Warrant | At 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, officers were investigating suspicious activity in the 500 block of Main Street. Two men, including Bob Rogers, 33 of Bellow, were towing a vehicle. During the investigation, officers learned that Rogers had an assault warrant out for his arrest. He was transported to Bellow Detention Center.
  • DUI Arrest | Dispatchers received a call at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday that a vehicle had struck a light post in the 500 block of West Bend St. When officers arrived, the driver, Jane Smith, 22, appeared to be under the influence. A field test was performed and Smith was jailed for the misdemeanor offenses of driving under the influence.

As you can see, these types of police blotters include a lot of information about an individual. It shows the name, age, location, and the situation for which the person is being arrested or held for. While you might get a sense of the problem with this, let’s look at it more in-depth in the next section.

How Can Being On a Police Blotter Ruin My Reputation?

Being on a police blotter can do significant damage to a person’s reputation professionally and socially — and it does so in several ways.

First, there is the immediate fallout of being named on a local police blotter. For this, unfortunately, there is nothing to stop. If you have been arrested or have a warrant issued out for your arrest, then the laws allow newspapers and similar organizations to obtain that information directly and have it posted — often, in the case a person is jailed following an arrest, before that person is even released from jail on bail or RoR.

The immediacy of police bloggers means that the weeks and months following your arrest can be the most painfully socially and professionally. Unfortunately, it is legal for businesses to use an arrest for grounds of termination from a job. That said, employees that have a good rapport with their job often won’t be fired for such situations. Rather, the real problems come with what happens next.

After a couple of months or even years, after you have paid your dues to the courts and after you have made the changes necessary to not be in that situation again, you may still find your past haunting you in terms of these police blotters. This is because many, many organizations do not clear out their past police blotter information, meaning that Google and other search engine crawlers will still pick up the details and display them on relevant searches.

And there are going to be a lot of details. Remember the example above? A police blotter lists a person’s full name, their age, where they are from, what town or what part of town they were in when arrested, their age, and for what they were arrested and charged. So whenever someone searches your full name or even part of your name and where you live, you risk one of the top search engine results being from a police blotter listing out the arresting information.

Worst of all, while some jurisdictions will undercharge a person upon arrest, just as many — if not more — will overcharge. This means that charges that you will later get dropped in court may still get attributed to your name. The result is that you risk having very serious allegations associated with you whenever a potential employer, significant other, or someone else looks up your record.

How Do I Find if I am on a Police Blotter?

Tragically, this is pretty easy. Simply open up a browser, go to Google, and type in your name, variations of your name, and any identifying information in the search engine results. We recommend doing this while in “Incognito Mode” to prevent any cookies or caches from being biased. Check at least the first five pages of results, looking for your name associated with any local newspaper or blog. Where all information isn’t given in the search result blurb, click on the link to determine whether or not you are in the website’s police blotter.

How Do I Get a Police Blotter Removed From the Internet?

So you have found your name and arrest record on a police blogger or on multiple police bloggers, now what? How do you get it removed? Unfortunately, while it is incredibly easy to get your name and personal details plastered across the internet, it is incredibly hard to get the opposite done — to get your information removed permanently.

In order to get your information removed from Google’s search engine results, you first have to get it removed from the source websites where Google is picking it up from. This can only be done by contacting these sources and petitioning them directly. In general, for them to acquiesce and remove your information from their police bloggers, one or more of the following things will have to be true:

  1. You were cleared of the charges or otherwise found not-guilty and can show that information to the web source.
  2. You have had the entirety of the arrest record legally expunged and can show proof of that information to the web source.
  3. The arrest record was far enough in the past and the arrest itself benign enough in nature that removal of your information won’t prove any harm and the web source can be persuaded to remove the information.

To get any of the above done, you can either go it alone or you can choose to hire professional assistance.

First, if you were represented by an attorney during your arrest and subsequent time dealing with the court, then you should sit down and talk to them about any paperwork they can obtain for you to help in clearing your name from police blotters. If your case was dismissed and you had limited contact with an attorney, then you can hire one to act as that intermediary to get local news outlets to either remove articles with your information or to take away tags and limit the identifying information.

If a legal team can’t help you or an attorney is not the right pick for your case for another reason, then consider hiring a team like ours that is experienced in removing names, photos, and other information from the web. We have had outstanding success with working with both individuals, local news outlets, and national publications removing the identifying information of our clients — especially where cases were dismissed or expunged.

In situations where we cannot get your information removed, we do the next best thing — we bury it. We create so many good or simply neutral stories that feature your name and other identifying information that in the event a future employer or someone similar is sent to gather information about you, they won’t find police bloggers on the first, fifth, and tenth pages of search engine results of your name and other detail information. Contact our team to learn more about how we do this and how we can remove your name from police blotters. Call 866-626-9930 now.