Not too long ago, you could turn on the local TV news or open the newspaper and see just about everything that happened that day. If it was relevant to you, the local news would be covering it. With the growth of other news outlets, downsizing of traditional media, and the appetite for breaking news, it is easy to see why certain stories get lost in the shuffle.
A great example of this reality is an incident that just happened in our city. A bank robber bursts into a bank with a gun and during the course of the robbery, shot the branch manager in the stomach. She had emergency surgery and will be okay. We sent out a press release, video from inside the bank, and still photos. The newspaper wrote a story on it and two local TV stations showed up for an 11:00 pm live shot, but for the most part, the story quickly came and went.
This new age of media and the public's desire for increased openness have created opportunities for us to identify the information our residents want and to find the best ways to deliver it to them. In an era of people wanting to stay informed, we find we have to be better at informing.
We have a number of information resources available on our website (www.bocaviper.com). In addition to interactive crime mapping and e-mail crime alerts, we post news releases, stories, and even videos we have produced on our own.
In the future, we will be publishing our police blotter and we will more frequently produce stories about events and issues. Look for these changes on a newly designed website in the near future.
I have spoken to a number of reporters about the changes in their business. I think they are doing a great job under trying circumstances and I believe there will be a rebound in traditional media when the economy improves. As far as the BRPD is concerned, we will continue to look for ways to keep you in the loop. Let us know what you think.