INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 30, 2014)– James Martin runs the busiest photo booth in town. On an average day, he captures the images of about 150 people at his office at 725 E. Market Street, according to our partners at the IndyStar.
Maj. Martin runs the Arrestee Processing Center of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s the photograph you don’t want taken,” he says.
Martin has been doing his job for 11 years. “I’ve seen everything that comes across the spectrum when you’re dealing with the population,” he said.
During the holiday season, lots of selfies and photos will be taken and shared on social media. But if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you might find your photo a matter of permanent public record – especially on New Year’s Eve.
“We will have everyone (full staff) here on New Year’s Eve,” Martin said. “We’ve blacked that day out because no one is allowed to take off that day because it is a busier time.
Our wagon drivers will be out in full force because the party will be Downtown.”
Here, Martin shares what life is like behind the camera, and gives his one tip for making your photography session go more smoothly.
•No smiles are preferred. We’re just looking for a standard straight-on picture. An officer is going to line you up, and say, “Look up. Turn your head to the right. Stop leaning your head.” Once they see the perfect picture it will be snapped.
•When it comes to taking a mugshot, no matter how good you really look in the normal world you are always going to look worse in a mug shot. You are never going to look as good as you do in a family photo in a mugshot.
•A mugshot photo holds a lot of credibility. It has to meet a certain criteria.
•Everything we do here belongs to the public. They are public record.
•No one is ever happy coming through this door. Our job is to calm you down. We need your 100 percent cooperation to get you through the process, to help you get to your next destination – whether it will lead to home or the jail.
•As long as you have patience and you cooperate we’re going to get you through the process pretty quickly. If we don’t have that then you are just going to be here longer than necessary.
•Your photo is taken every time you’re brought in, so we have an accurate account of of what you look like. You would be amazed — some people out there have had 30 to 40 mugshots taken. We have arrestees who come through here several times a week.
•It’s been busier since Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving we arrested 80 people. There seems to be a theme – higher arrests on holidays and lower arrests on weekends.
•I’ve never heard of an incidence of anyone throwing up during a photograph. We are not going to bring you over to get your picture taken until you’re ready. By the time we’ve brought you over to the picture area we’ve already established you are going to cooperate.
•Being arrested is not funny. There are times when people do things that will make you laugh a little but overall it will not help the process in itself. At the end of the day it really is a serious business.
•We see people at their worst time and probably their worst condition than anyone will ever see that person.
•You see people that are muddy because they were not cooperative on an arrest scene. You also might get people that want to get undressed to amuse the rest of the group.
•Maybe you’re back there urinating on the floor. Maybe you’re putting your blood on our walls. We will get you in a state of mind where you’re cooperative. Until then you are probably not going to get your picture taken.
•No one is really excited about getting a mugshot taken. Once taken, it is out there forever.