Saturday, November 30, 2013

The 3rd Most Popular Story On My Blog This Week Is From 2 And A Half Years Ago, And I Didn't Even Write It!

I was perusing some of the settings and stats on this blog and noticed that 166 people this week were checking out a story from two and a half years ago. This made this old story the 3rd most popular story on my blog this week. It was about a couple of dudes getting busted in a Broadway Motel in Eureka. I thought, maybe the guys are out of jail and going after the press. Then after reading an op-ed in today's Times-Standard by Mark Bennett, I realized the traffic was probably from those that released the story in the first place.

It was just a standard police press release and contained pictures and the usual cop speak. I call it cop speak because the police have an official way of writing these press releases which is designed to make things perfectly clear since the subjects are usually being accused of a crime but not yet convicted of one. Cops are pretty careful about wording so that they don't run afoul of a citizens rights or jeopardize their cases in court.

Anyway, I don't do many of these press releases anymore on the blog.  They seem to be an everyday event. It almost wears you down to hear the same stories about heroine or meth dealers, pot grows and the crime that comes along with those industries. Day after day the same thing. And maybe that's why the new Police Chief in Eureka, Andy Mills wants to put a stop to them.

Chief Mills New Eureka Police Chief. Photo Time-Standard.
Enter the sudden new interest in a 2 and a half year old story that was merely a press release from EPD.  An everyday occurrence if you will. It  is my belief that the story was used as an example for those looking at the idea of changing what gets released to the press. So I am assuming that many politicians and police types have been going to this old story and I have asked them to leave a comment as to how they feel about changing the press release process and why?

Chief Mills has proposed that the everyday press releases stop and he will instead put the information out in a list form, once a month. Obviously this would help the image of the city since there wouldn't be the daily stories on radio, TV, newspapers and on line highlighting so many of the bad or ugly elements in town, and the press would have to write about something else or get people on the inside to leak information. Since many leakers are now considered terrorists by our federal government, don't look for too many people on the inside wanting to trade their jobs for a prison cell. The press will still have crime stories from the county and other municipalities and of course, once a month some of us will pour over the long list of people that were arrested the month before. Some of that will still come out but for the most part, people with name recognition or in positions of authority will be reported on and the rest will just be on that list somewhere. Still, this may be a good move for the cities image. My question though, is it good for Eureka residents?


  1. every buddy buy a scanner and we can do our own police beat right here. Make another blog like yours. Just put big disclaimer to start out that all post are from individual citzens. Dont give names and always right innocent till proven guilty. So many stories are not given any press only stories with pot grows. # or betr cars a day are stolen, as many broke into, numerous break ins. I am starting to think they dont report them because it would show only 3 out of a hundred they solve. And the ones they do solve usually becuase the victim actually finds there own stuff

  2. I think putting out people's names and pictures like I used to is a bad idea for the most part. People are innocent until proven guilty unless they are accused of terrorism.

    However, it is nice to know if someone you see on the street is the person that supposedly just assaulted your neighbor or some other terrible thing so that you can know to take precaution. Since the list will only come out once a month and the turnover is so fast at the jails due to overcrowding, the guy walking by might have just done something terrible but you don't know and he is already out on bail or OR awaiting a hearing.

    And there is still the issue of a press release of a suspect photo where the police want to talk to someone or want to arrest someone and they put it out there even though that person isn't guilty of a crime. I'm pretty sure that won't change. I don't think this is about protecting suspects rights, I think it's about controlling the information stream, the press and trying to spin a better image about Eureka. I can't say that I blame them since the town can use all the help it can get in enhancing it's image.

    I don't happen to live in Eureka so I just wonder how they feel about all this?

  3. i'm in loleta, but i feel very strongly that police agencies should/must inform the public in a timely manner of any crime or incident that concerns the public's personal safety and also the public's ability to keep his possessions safe and secure.

    I deserve to know in a timely fashion (w/i minutes, hours or A day) of an incident which concerns my being safe in person and possessions, and will enable me to take precautions to remain safe in my community.

    it is unacceptable to only give out a press release once every 30 days. i hope that the public can make the new chief change his mind about this issue. since the police agencies are telling us they have lost much of the funding they needed to keep our communities safe and secure.

    that being the case, the police should be assisting the public at large to take necessary steps in our attempt to ensure our own personal safety and security. the police reports given in a timely manner can assist me to take those necessary precautions.

    issuing timely reports of local criminal activity

  4. Publishing an arrest report of two or three people caught with drugs doesn't do much, aside from entertainment value for those reading the story. Putting out a release that a certain neighborhood has been getting a rash of burglaries would be the kind of thing that might alert neighbors there is a problem they can keep an eye out for.

  5. I want to know who, what, where when and I also want my stuff back.

  6. I think Fred makes a great case for a press release that should still be released to the public in a timely manor.


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