Regional law enforcement officers learn about media relations
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Regional law enforcement officers learn about media relations

“It’s important for people to understand that law enforcement and news media have a lot in common, they both are there if they’re doing their job correctly, they serve the community, they serve the public and one of the things that some people might over look is that they work under the same tenants: accuracy, fairness, integrity, accountability.” Said Joe Paglia instructor.

Law enforcement officers from across the country took a media training class to learn how to bridge the gap between law enforcement and local media outlets.

“It teaches them the history, the origin of journalism, the progressions that it has made and the technology as well how technology has changed and when technology changes so does the way journalism gets done and therefore; law enforcement has to react based on technology, the people behind it and the way the people are in general. “Said Joe Paglia instructor.

The design of the training is to give officers a an improved level of communication when encountering journalists looking for that next story.

“I’ve done smaller interviews in the past, just one on one interviews, with the local news agencies, the position that I’m in now is dealing with the media relations, so there’s a possibility that I could be conducting press conferences in the future so that’s why I kind of want to get out and get ahead of the curve.” Said Justin Hill Florence Ala Police.

Media and law enforcement often come together when broadcasting a missing or wanted person and this is why communication between both parties is important.

“I think that things we’ve learned here this week and in the last three days makes me a better person when it comes to preparing for an interview and when I go back and talk to my chief and sit him down and let him know we do need the media when doing our jobs.” Kennedy Meaders

West Point assist police chief

Officers took turns getting to play the roles of aggressive reporters during mock press conferences.

“To get up in front of the lights the camera, the microphones the cameras and the questions professional written, that’s a tough job especially if you’ve only seen the scenario for 15 minutes.” Said Joe Paglia instructor.