Seems our story on Watervliet, New York’s pistol permit application process has legs. Time Warner Cable News reporter Geoff Redick has been chasing Watervliet Police Chief Ronald A. Boisvert, Jr., trying to confirm TTAG’s chinwag regarding the PD’s “request” to applicants to log into their Facebook page in front of him. The Chief and the City are stonewalling Redick to the point where they’ve hired a public relations firm to deal with the issue. As part of that taxpayer-funded effort, the Chief has released the following statement [paragraph breaks added]. . .
“In light of recent inquires made to this Department regarding a Facebook post concerning Pistol Permit Application Processing at the Watervliet Police Department, the following is provided:
‘Local police agencies in New York State are charged with the important task of conducting background and character investigations of persons applying for pistol permits, a duty that we approach with the attention it deserves.
Today, social media is a vital investigative tool and we make a use of it in these background investigations in order to render a well-founded and complete recommendation on applicants to the courts.
None of the eight (8) applicants who supplied Facebook information have had their accounts accessed, which I know because I am the investigating officer and the only person conducting background checks.
I approach this duty with the greatest respect for gun owners and their rights, a perspective that is shaped by my 9-year service in the U.S. Navy and exposure to guns at a young age through my grandfather, a well-respected gunsmith. I do not take guns, gun safety or our freedoms as Americans lightly, and as Chief of Police I have a serious job to do, and I approach it with respect.’
– Watervliet Police Chief Ronald A. Boisvert, Jr.
*The form originally posted as being included in the Pistol Permit Package has been removed and replaced with a version that does not request an applicants’ Facebook information.
The Chief’s assertion that “None of the eight (8) applicants who supplied Facebook information have had their accounts accessed” contradicts what he told me over the phone: he looks at all applicants’ Facebook pages during a face-to-face interview, as directed by the county judges who approve or reject all pistol permit applications.