The Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) recently announced a change to its media guidelines, modifying how it reports incidents and disseminates information to the public.
TPD informed the media of the changes by emailing the new guidelines to local media outlets and posted information on TPD’s Facebook page. The changes will impact how residents receive current information on crime and other happenings in Tallahassee.
Before the changes, TPD would release an “incident alert for any serious vehicle wreck or violent crime, whether the incident was ‘an issue of public safety, completely isolated, or domestic in nature and included all injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening,’ according to the agency.”
The updated guidelines state TPD may not report certain incidents until regular business hours. As a result, many crimes may not be reported until the next day or later if occurrences happen after hours, on a weekend, or holiday.
Additionally, the guidelines disclose that TPD will utilize social media to post about serious incidents. Information regarding any incident that does not meet the new criteria as life-threatening or involving multiple injuries will be released the following business day.
TPD says it has been “inundated with calls” about incidents, and those calls have significantly impacted its productivity, thus the modifications to the guidelines to streamline the dissemination of information.
However, Deputy City Manager Cynthia Barber called the guidelines “fluid” and said TPD remains committed to transparency, and there are most likely changes that will be made. TPD will meet this week with members of the media at the TPD Headquarters to address concerns.
Below is an example of an incident alert highlighted by WCTV that TPD will no longer issue; instead, it will be released in a summary report to media outlets the following day.
The complete TPD media guidelines can be viewed at this link.