Because issuing a press release is the best way to not respond to an inquiry

It’s been a busy week for the WPD.

As I previously noted, the city has seen a regular flurry of PR activity on the part of the police.  We’ve had press releases about Telegram articles and the introduction of YouTube and Facebook accounts.  They’ve even posted an alert to their Nixle account.  (News to me: I had no idea Route 8 passed through Worcester!)

Let’s say you just moved to Worcester and came across one of the WPD’s social media sites.  Your reaction could be measured in three stages:

Stage 1: Admiration.  “Wow, a police department that’s approaching the 21st century and posting press releases.”

Stage 2: Confusion.  “Isn’t it kind of weird that they post a long advisory about some dangerous dude but they didn’t let us know about the 10th homicide of 2011 for six days?” 

Stage 3: Utter Befuddlement.  “Who is this Dianne Williamson and why did they respond to her by saying they wouldn’t respond to her?”

(Yes, it would only take a new Worcester resident a few days to get to the stage the rest of us old and crusty residents are at.)

Remember when you were in kindergarten and there was that kid who would always put glue in your hair and trip you and make fun of your glasses, and when you complained about it your mom would say, “Oh, honey, that’s only because he likes you?”

Well, the police press releases are a little bit like that, except that the folks behind it don’t like the objects of their derision.  Also, they’re not five years old, so instead of having kindergarten scissors, they’re packing heat.

I like the police.

Most of the officers I meet are courteous, friendly, and helpful.  I want there to be a forum that highlights the good work of the WPD.

I have nothing against the police.

What I do have something against are folks in the administration of the WPD who are undermining the work the men and women of the WPD do every single day.  These are people who consistently put themselves in harm’s way to investigate crimes and protect the public.  I want to hear about that work.   I want to hear about real people I should keep an eye out for, and real situations of interest to me as a resident of Worcester.

Instead we get petty feuds that we are paying for, instead of statistics and news we can use to stay safer.

The saddest thing is that I’ve been mentally preparing a post that was going to be critical of the T&G, which is one of the two official sports of Worcester (the other official civic sport is asking when the skating rink on the Common will be ready, of course):

http://twitter.com/#!/delnieve/status/164353321665171458

And instead I had to write this post, when I was really trying to give the WPD the benefit of the Web 2.0 doubt for at least three days.
 
If you want the police to focus on the business of Worcester, rather than on feeding the media outlets the WPD perceives to be trolls, please comment on their Facebook wall or respond to their Twitter account.
 
I also recommend contacting the members of the City Council Subcomittee on Public Safety: Councilor Eddy (chair), Councilor Germain, and Councilor Palmieri.  Ask them why the police press releases are being used for schoolyard taunts rather than public information.
 
Enough is enough.
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6 thoughts on “Because issuing a press release is the best way to not respond to an inquiry

  1. Tracy Novick says:

    They’ve set it up so you can’t comment on their FB wall.

  2. Sean says:

    It’s getting repetitive and redundant, but well said.

    I was in the middle of writing an email to the Council regarding these press releases when I saw your post. Hopefully more people will see this and write.

  3. Peter smith says:

    In a tim when we are making an effort to curb bullying, we are certainly not setting a good example.

  4. Tracy Novick says:

    And now the press release is down.

  5. Sean says:

    2 out of the three anti T&G posts are down. They only took down the anti-Dianne Williamson piece.

    Apparently the City Manager wasn’t pleased.

  6. Maxwell Delirious says:

    you mean, Dianne, the “gossip columnist”?

    In the old days was there a cozier relationship with the WPD and the TandG?

    Or is it because the TandG no longer has the funds to keep an fulltime employee over there?

    Once in a while DW speaks of not getting the information fortchcoming fromt jhe WPD, but I think it has to be hush hush lest she not get ANY info out of them.

    But, gossip columnist? Man, how petty is this getting? (no pun intended, joe)

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