This week, the Janesville Police Department began a bizarre "no serve list" alcohol campaign by distributing a letter and a list of names of offending heavy drinkers to all licensed alcohol vendors in the city.
The letter included pages detailing the names, ages, heights and weights of 10 individuals on the department's first "no serve" list. Seven of the names have mug shots accompanying them. Besides the seemingly obvious persecution of individuals without due process and a potential for blacklisting abuse, the department also does an Orwellian double-speak regarding alcohol establishments. On one hand they state, "businesses are not required to comply with the policy and won’t face a fine if they sell to someone who’s barred." However, "if businesses consistently disobey, their business could be referred to the alcohol licensing committee."
Also in the JPD letter was a request that the names on the list be kept private.
JPD Letter Excerpt:
Attached you will find a copy of the Janesville Police Department "No Serve List." This is a list of individuals you should decline the purchase of alcohol. This is a list for internal use only by you and your employees. Do not distribute or post it publicly.
Emphasis is theirs.
So, what does the Janesville Gazette newspaper do with this list? Why they publish it of course!
Remember, the Gazette is the sort of newspaper that thought an independent filmmaker owed a local political business group the omission of statements relevant to the story as an unwritten courtesy for recording access. Yet at the same time they openly publish information that comes with a clear request not to do so.