The California Police Department masks the faces of nonviolent suspects with Legos

The Murrieta Police Department in California has taken an unconventional yet creative step to balance public safety with individual privacy. In an innovative move, the department is now using Lego head images to cover the faces of nonviolent crime suspects in booking photos and mugshots shared on social media platforms.

This unique approach aims to adhere to state privacy laws while maintaining transparency with the community.

The adaptation comes as a response to Assembly Bill 994 and Penal Code 13665, which restrict the dissemination of suspects’ images arrested for nonviolent offenses.

These legislative measures dictate that law enforcement agencies must refrain from publicizing such booking photos on social platforms and, if posted, remove them within 14 days unless extenuating circumstances apply.

In a recent statement, the Murrieta Police Department highlighted its commitment to transparency and the rights of individuals, including those suspected of criminal activities. By implementing Lego heads to obscure faces, the department tactfully respects the privacy and legal protections afforded to individuals under the new state law.

The introduction of Lego faces is part of a broader initiative by the department to find balanced solutions that uphold public safety information sharing while protecting individual rights. This approach predates the enactment of the new legislation, as confirmed by a police spokesperson to Fox News Digital.

The department has been exploring various methods to conceal suspects’ identities in their public communications for several years, aiming to keep the community informed without compromising personal privacy.

In addition to legal compliance, the decision to use Lego images reflects the department’s consideration of the broader implications of social media exposure.

Recognizing the potential personal and familial impacts, the Murrieta Police Department has chosen to avoid posting images of individuals arrested for certain crimes, upholding the principle of the presumption of innocence.

This innovative measure by the Murrieta Police Department showcases a thoughtful blend of humor, creativity, and sensitivity in law enforcement practices, demonstrating a commitment to adapting to legal and societal changes while fostering a respectful relationship between the police force and the community it serves.

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