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  1. #1
    srab's Avatar
    srab is offline Officer First Class
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    The duty of information

    Chopper 4 Video: Tactical Situation on I-94 | Today's TMJ4 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Weather, Sports, WTMJ | Local News

    BREAKING: Tactical Situation Over | Today's TMJ4 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Weather, Sports, WTMJ | Local News

    The above links covered a lenghty stand-off, just wrapped up on one of our freeways. The news coverage was live and lasted practically the entire length of the incident, with of-course as detailed and regurgitated "debrief" as only local news can offer.

    During the tactical situation, the amazing News Chopper 4 has depicted almost every move of the operators, officers and deputies in clear detail. This included a super zoom into the sniper positions, their in-progress set up, and an explanation. I contacted the news station during the broadcast to request that they stop showing at least the sniper positions, and stop compromizing officer safety and the entire incident. This wasn't an irritated or an unprofessional call. But after one sentence, I was promptly cut off and transferred to the automated "comment line." I am not sure where in the communication company I will forward this issue, but it will be brought to the attention of top administration. Any proven ideas would be welcome.

    Traditionally, we have no real issues in dealing with the media. The lack of consideration, or common sence in this case, bother me a great deal. Aside from the obvious points, how do you not consider the fact that the news you are putting out, may be watched by the suspect(s) inside the vehicle? How many lives are you willing to jeopardize in lieu of "breaking news"? I don't know at this point if the on-scene personnel asked the news to back off, but considering how "exciting" this coverage was to the reporting venues (or a particular venue with an air borne asset), a different or timely outcome is doubtfull.

    I think as professionals we are partly to blame for our own transparency, especially in high risk operations. While we want good public and media relations, as well as a welcoming approach of the community to understanding of what we do, I think we've gone overboard. For years we have showed, explained and demonstrated too many tactics, options, equipment and skills. Yeah, they are not really top secret. But, when everything is offered on a platter, why wouldn't anyone use it against us or those we try to protect? At least in the alternative, the offenders may be required to do their own research and application, and then easier demonstrate an intent to use them in a negative way. Had this been a staight forward pursuit, perhaps I would be more inclined to agree with the Hollywood approach. But this was a potential hostage situation...
    "The best tank terrain is that without anti-tank weapons"
    Russian military doctrine


    "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time"
    - Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC


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  2. #2
    ms1600's Avatar
    ms1600 is offline Neither here nor there
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    Perhaps you could have your Chief work with the FAA to create restricted airspace over law enforcement situations. If a news company ignores a NOTAM, it may affect their ability to operate aircraft.
    Verified Libra- There sure are a lot of people born in August around here.

    Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes he gets you.

  3. #3
    Five-0's Avatar
    Five-0 is offline Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ms1600 View Post
    Perhaps you could have your Chief work with the FAA to create restricted airspace over law enforcement situations. If a news company ignores a NOTAM, it may affect their ability to operate aircraft.

    Beat me to it. We also have it in policy to set up a media center outside of the primary perimeter for events ongoing with our agency. Media there gets, prompt and regular updates from a media relations officer ie one person/one voice/one message.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  4. #4
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    In the Seattle metro area, they don't do that or they get only what they ask for information wise.

    One of the local outlets is very pro officer safety, and they set the standard for the other outlets in cooperation with stuff like that.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  5. #5
    121Traffic's Avatar
    121Traffic is offline Just Us
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    Let's not forget that in the end, the PD/agency really controls the bulk of the information put out to the media. Admins normally just don't have the balls to do it.

    Remember, nothing says that you have to tell the media anything. PIOs are not an entitlement, they are a courtesy. Does this particular news outlet want to play ball in the future? Do they want to stay competitive with their police-related reporting? Do they want to know about what's going on in the future? If they don't want to play nice, nothing says you have to play nice with them. If this shit happened here, and I was in charge of the PIOs, the edict would come down: that particular station is on an information black-out. We are not compelled in anyway to give them information. They are, of course, entitled to know just as much as the general public via FOIA requests through the Records Division when the report is eventually filed. This black-out would be accomplished by not providing them press releases by fax/email while ensuring that their competitors receive the releases in a prompt manner, and in time for the evening news. We're holding a press conference today regarding this or that in our secure briefing room...oh you work for who? I'm sorry, you're not welcome. On-screen interviews with the PIO? Sure, would you mind coming back into our secure lobby, FOX/ABC/CBS affiliates? I'm sorry, though NBC Channel 4, you're going to have to wait out here. You're more than welcome to ask the other affiliates if you can recycle their footage an hour or three after they air it.

    It's like that line in The Departed. Something along the lines of "I treat Feds (the media, in this case) like I treat mushrooms. Feed 'em shit and keep 'em in the dark." Serivce with a smile!
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  6. #6
    srab's Avatar
    srab is offline Officer First Class
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    I like the restricted air space idea. Like 121Traffic said, the top dogs have to have the balls to put out the directives (among other things). Apparently the perimeter was extended and the regualr ground pounder media types restrcited twice. They then secured an appartment building overlooking the freeway, and zoomed in from there, as well as the air unit. To boot, the perps were listening to the live news coverage on radio (owned by the same communications company), and taunted cops on-scene by provoking a suicide-by-cop scenario. I'm also going to contact our union lobby at the Capitol, and have them work the issue as well.
    "The best tank terrain is that without anti-tank weapons"
    Russian military doctrine


    "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time"
    - Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC


    www.gruntsbbq.com

 

 

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