January 11, 2017
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Public Information Officer – Officer Brittany Wallace 770-794-5370 (office)
When: January 18th, 25th & February 1st, 8th (Wednesdays)
Where: Marietta Police Department
Who's Invited: Media personnel from public or collegiate news sources (desk editors, reporters, radio, camera crews, newspapers, etc.)
In order to continue to improve relationships and build more bridges with the community we serve, the Marietta Police Department is reaching out to yet another group; the news media. The news media plays a major role in forming the narrative by which the police relate to the community. The fact is that the news media today works in an environment that involves tremendous time pressure and competition in their field. The continuous news cycle creates a constant hunger for stories and reports and thus reporters now rush from story to story and news assignment editors work in an environment that is fiercely competitive with one another and the social media. Therefore when they are covering stories about the police, they are often frustrated and feel thwarted when they encounter police practices or priorities with which they are not completely familiar.
Like the media, the police labor in an environment in which they must strictly adhere to policies, procedures and protocols while addressing very complex public safety social and constitutional issues; often in the lens of someone's camera. Things also become complicated for the police when an explanation may hinder an ongoing criminal investigation, civil lawsuit or personnel laws. It is often an unenviable position, just like the ones frequently encountered by the news media. In essence, the police and media have similar pressures, but nonetheless a symbiotic relationship.
Our goal is to facilitate a higher level of mutual understanding and work to overcome the communications gaps and impediments between the police and media, the Marietta Police Department has constructed a first-ever intensive Media Police Academy. The academy training will, with practical exercises and dialogue, examine critical issues including police use of force, judgmental shooting, body worn cameras, Special Operation demonstrations, high risk traffic stops, and encounters. We truly hope this first Media Police Academy is well attended and together we find meaningful ways to continue it into the future.