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Feb 18, 2015

Police Department Holds Media Training Workshop

Today, senior police officers from formations across the country gathered at Raccoon Street Headquarters for day one of a two-day media workshop. It’s an initiative by Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to improve the relationship between his commanders and the media where information dissemination is concerned. Mike Rudon was at the workshop this morning and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

This morning senior police officers including commanders and deputy commanders returned to the classroom for lessons in Media Interaction 101. These officers are highly trained in intelligence gathering, investigation and crime-fighting, but in communication with the media…not so much.

 

Supt. Suzette Anderson, Commanding Officer, Precinct Three

“We have all our senior officers gathered here from across the country. It is a two-day workshop session that we are on for today and tomorrow and it is about the communication between the police and the media.”

 

The relationship between the media and Police hasn’t always been a great one, or even a good one. To be fair, they have their job to do and we have deadlines. Still, the workshop is an indication that there is a willingness on the part of the police to bridge that gap.

 

Supt. Andrew Ramirez, Officer Commanding, Corozal

“It is very essential for commanders, especially commanders and deputy commanders, to liaison with the media because we need our information out to the community and how best than through the media. The police department does not control any television station or radio station, so it is essential for us to meet with you guys and give out the information. But I think sometimes because of the quickness of how the media wants the information, some commanders would prefer to pass of that responsibility to the press officer.”

 

Suzette Anderson

Supt. Suzette Anderson

“As police officers we are often faced with news. That is within the scope of our duties. Incidents occur, crimes are reported and it is important for us as police officers to obtain the necessary information relevant to any particular matter so that we can better relay the information adequately. What tends to happen at times, the police officers on a general perspective are not trained in terms of how to have that kind of interaction with the media in terms of relaying information, so you find out that most of the times they become tense, they get nervous and they do not know how to react to information that is requested by the media. What this workshop is about is for officers to become aware as to the need of being in a calm mood, relax and to know how to face the media in terms of the relevant information.”

 

The workshop will be an intensive session, with officers coached on information management and also thinking on their feet when the often voracious and sometimes devious media comes calling.

 

Douglas Hyde

Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator, Eastern Division

“Of course the psycho-social part is very crucial meaning the thinking, the mentality of the officer that every person is equal. So whether or not the situation is very volatile, he or she knows how to approach it and how to address it. We are looking at skills, so communication skills is very critical, non-verbal especially. And of course we are looking at persons who work within the media to come in and address whatever concerns or issues that they themselves see with the police officers and how we can better address some of these.”

 

And since we are often guilty of criticizing the Police for their perceived deficiencies, today we gave one senior officer a chance to point out one major criticism of the media.

 

Andrew Ramirez

Supt. Andrew Ramirez

“The media tends to base a lot on what they hear. The police need time to investigate. What the media needs to do is to give that time period for the police to get the necessary evidence or information. From time to time, we will hear the media on the news saying that there is three four murders when after the dust has settled in relation to that matter, you find out it was one individual. But because of some members of the media—and I will refer to it as irresponsible media broadcasting.”

 

Apart from commanders and deputy commanders from police formations, the session also included senior officers in special Police units. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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1 Response for “Police Department Holds Media Training Workshop”

  1. cayobway says:

    what the next training session need to focus on is keeping police officers from losing thier cool and beating on suspect, even though some may seem that they need it, it is much easier to get information from a person when he or she is in a state of calm, however most of us know that police officer would rather beat this info out of the suspect, maybe they need to teach the young officers that the suspect are also humans.

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