August 7, 2007

No news isn’t good news

Posted in Statistics and reporting at 12:57 pm by madisonparent

I know that East side residents like to read about burglaries, thefts, etc that are occurring in their neighborhoods. But compiling this information takes a significant amount of time. You may be surprised to learn that the District Captains have only one civilian support staff person. This one person’s primary responsibility is to handle persons coming to the counter of our station, answer phones and type police report. In essence, the District Captains have no staff to assist us with our many administrative duties. As a result of competing priorities, in upcoming newsletters, you will be seeing a transition away from this listing of incidents to more general information about the district and the department. I will continue to highlight incidents or information about suspicious persons you may encounter and other crime trends. I will also be bringing you information about our problem solving success stories and other proactive activities our officers engage in.

Madison East Police District newsletter, July 2007.

This is disappointing. Among all the Madison police district newsletters, the East district’s newsletter had been by far the most helpful source of information about school-based crime in its district. Given the community’s growing concern about crime, there’s clearly an unfilled niche for consistent, unfiltered, timely and complete information about crime in our neighborhoods and in our schools. If the district stations or public information office aren’t sufficiently staffed to get the word out, surely here’s an opportunity for an enterprising news or media outfit to step in and start publishing a daily online police blotter…eyeballs guaranteed.

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