News media irresponsibility
I'm wondering if we in rural Ohio are the only ones who encounter this:
I live in a rural part of Ohio where the LE response time can easily be 45 minutes or more. Recently a nearby small town had two armed robberies in two weeks. This was reported on TV, as it should be. However, the report began with the statement, "A small town in central Ohio has had some big crime problems due to DECREASED POLICE PROTECTION (emphasis mine)." They went on to say later in the article that the sheriff's office now has half the deputies compared with two years ago, and that "investigation into the recent robberies has been hindered because the department does not have anyone to examine the cases full-time."
So, now every hood in Columbus knows about the weakened LE in this county if they didn't before. The tax base in this county is low (a nearby bridge on a (formerly) heavily-traveled road has been out for a year) so the situation won't change soon. Granted, the crooks probably have other ways of finding out where the weak LE spots are, but the media don't have to help them:mad:.
There is another possibility
It may not be "just the media" in some of these cases where inappropriate information is published.
Ten years ago I was elected mayor of a small rural town. The previous mayor had been in office more than twenty years. The town had 8 uniformed officers and a population of less than 4000. The crime rate was low. The police chief had been in the department for many years. Apparently, the chief and his number two decided I was a soft target and started to insist on more funding. Tax revenues were not increasing, so no more resources were available. When I wouldn't roll over, anonymous letters to the editor began to appear asserting the police were underfunded and underpaid. Then every minor accident and small incident began to be reported in the paper with a slant provided by the police about how they were too busy to get to the scene right away, or were going to followup when they could get to it, etc.
This did in fact attract criminal elements to the town. Including a crime family consisting of a lady and her four criminal sons. We started having break ins and other property crimes that had been rare. The police were not solving these crimes. They continued to hint at lack of pay and resources. I got resignations from the chief and his assistant.
Within a year the new chief had run the criminals out of town and had crime back to normal. We are back to our home grown criminals and the occasional transient crook. No more letters to the editor and slanted news stories appear in the paper concerning the police. Today there are 8 uniformed officers and the population is 4000.
The ex-chief is a relatively young man, but has never worked in law enforcement again. No action was taken to address his POST status. I did or said nothing to keep him from finding another job(liability concerns). His assistant is working in another part of the state. Perhaps the law enforcement community passed the story of our town around among themselves and that kept him from getting another job. Perhaps he didn't want to work again. I just don't know.
I hope it is rare for a circumstance such as ours to arise. During my eight years as mayor I developed a deeper respect for the patrol, sheriff's department, and city police department than I ever had as a citizen. It is very difficult for them to do their job within the guidelines of the constitution. They are outstanding people and to a person want their jurisdiction to be the best and safest in the state. I am sure that is the rule across the country rather than the exception.
I have little love for the local paper. They are willing to be a tool for the agenda of others if there is some chance they will sell more papers. The police story was just one example of this. Over the eight years I was mayor, we had six or seven editors of the town paper. With the exception of one or two, they were worthless. They cared little for facts and routinely did not report both sides of a story, especially if doing so would put controversy to rest. Witnessing first hand the shameless nature of the newspaper business was easily the worst part of being a volunteer mayor.
If you want to pressure your paper, contact the bigger advertisers and voice your concerns. The paper only survives if it can get paid advertising.