Regarding the accident on Hamilton and Essex Streets in 2010, the WPD issued a press release:
The Essex County District Attorney has concluded their investigation into the November 28, 2010 motor vehicle accident at Hamilton Street and Puritan Avenue. The Essex County District Attorney supports the findings of the Worcester Police Department Accident Reconstruction Unit and places the fault on the female operator who entered Hamilton Street and caused the collision.
It is unfortunate for the community that the reporting on this accident by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette continually distorted, through unsubstantiated allegations, bias, and innuendo, the facts in this accident. Unlike the Telegram and Gazette, the Essex County District Attorney and the Worcester Police Department conduct thorough, factual, and unbiased investigations before making a determination of fact and submitting written reports of findings.
From the Telegram:
While investigators and prosecutors have blamed the crash on Ms. Higgins for failing to see Mr. Duffy when she pulled out onto Hamilton Street, state police Lt. Andrew S. Klane, an accident reconstruction expert, wrote in his report to prosecutors that had Officer Duffy been driving “between 30 and 43 mph, this collision could have been avoided.”
Perhaps we need to resort to “unsubstantiated allegations, bias, and innuendo” because no one checked (or obtained a warrant for) Mr. Duffy’s personal cell phone (to refute the “unsubstantiated allegation” that he called his father before calling paramedics) and because no one performed a field sobriety or breathalyzer test on him.
This is not to say that the Telegram is blameless; if the female motorist in question was a machinist, surely the newspaper wouldn’t be tweeting her profession.
But — on a similar note — the WPD has recently told us that someone charged with being a “common nightwalker” “was observed by officers actively attempting to flag down passing motor vehicles to engage in sexual activities.”
How exactly was she doing that? Did she have a custom-made flag printed with the word “Sex” to wave at cars? Was the moving one index finger in and out of a hole made by an “O” made by the index finger and thumb of her other hand?
I like that the WPD issues press releases.
What I don’t like is the level of invective present in many of the press releases.
The WPD have recently told us that “the Worcester Telegram and Gazette continues to distort the facts and circumstances as they pertain to the Worcester Police Department” and that “the Worcester community deserves quality policing as well as fair, honest, and unbiased reporting. Unfortunately, the community gets the former but not the latter.”
If the WPD is committed to showing us facts, then they should be posting crime stats by neighborhood. If the WPD wants to give the community good reporting, then why was the Telegram the only organization livetweeting the situation with the missing children in the Vernon Hill area?
In the case of Office Duffy, the WPD could have posted the (full) official report from the Essex DA’s office, which would have allowed residents to form an opinion outside of the T&G-WPD tit-for-tat. Instead, we got another neener-neener press release.
We are now paying for a full-time media specialist for the WPD.
Since Katie Daly was hired into that position, the people of Worcester have received a long press release calling out a judge and not one, but two, press releases criticizing the local daily newspaper.
Why do we need to pay another person for what we’ve already been getting for years?