Orange Co. deputies worried over potential yearbook for agency

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office wants to put out a yearbook to highlight the agency, despite backlash from deputies who don’t want their pictures taken.

Channel 9’s Jeff Deal learned some deputies feel forced to go along with the idea.

The book would be called a "legacy album" and would be produced by the Georgia-based Peachtree Portraits.

“It was mandatory and we were all very concerned about why it would be mandatory,” said Larry Lockwood, president of the Fraternal Order of Police No. 93.

Lockwood said they were initially told everyone except undercover deputies were required to be photographed for the album.

He pointed out law enforcement officers are protected under state law from having their photos published or released.

Deputies said the concern is, like a school yearbook, it could be passed around and end up in anybody’s hands allowing the pictures to be seen by anyone.

In 2008, WFTV obtained a photograph of former State Trooper James Gilbert from a similar yearbook when he was accused and later convicted of a crime.

But the union’s biggest concern isn’t the media getting the photos.

They’re mainly worried criminals might see them, especially if a young deputy decided to work undercover later on.

Since the union expressed concern leaders said the Sheriff’s Office has backed off and allowed deputies to opt out of being in the book , but deputies said they are still being pressured.

A Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said it was never meant to be mandatory and deputies still have a choice.