Friday, July 15, 2011
Too much information? I think so. Last night the local TV stations named the three Dane County Sheriff’s Deputies (often referred to by weekend talent as “Sheriffs”, as though each county had several Sheriffs) involved in the shootout at a west-side motel earlier this week.
Two of the local TV stations still insist on calling this sort of thing an “officer-involved shooting”, as though it were the job of the news writer to attempt to use every bit of police jargon possible; but, that’s another rant for another day.
This morning, the State Journal ran a small item, also identifying the three deputies by name.
Is this news? I don’t think so.
Is the fact that the three deputies were involved in a shooting incident sufficient reason to identify them by name? The media don’t generally identify firefighters by name, when they respond to a fatal fire, unless they’re getting an on-camera (or, in the case of print, on-the-record) comment from the Captain or Battalion Chief on the scene.
I think the reason the local media identify the deputies by name is that the Sheriff’s Department put out a news release with the names. So, perhaps, the larger question is, if so, why would the Sheriff’s Department do so?
Do you care who the three deputies are? Didn’t think so. They are highly-trained professionals who do a job that often puts them in mortal danger. And, as most people know, when officers of the law are involved in an incident where another person is shot or killed, the officers are placed on temporary leave, presumably to spend time recuperating from the mental shock of having to shoot someone.
I’m not sure for what reason the deputies were identified, not sure what, if anything, it adds to the story; and I’m pretty sure it’s not really “news”. Perhaps someone better versed in this than I can explain it to me.
Posted by Tim Morrissey at 7:33 AM