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Tue., Nov. 27, 2012

SPD reporting unbalanced

I have friends and family members in law enforcement, and I never cease to be troubled by the constant stream of negative articles published by The Spokesman-Review against the Spokane Police Department.

In an attempt to help determine the extent of the problem, I performed a study of The Spokesman-Review website. I found 1,087 stories that were tagged “Spokane Police Department.” In reading the headlines of all 1,087 stories, I only found nine that clearly reflected something positive about the SPD. Four of those were about police dogs and only one profiled a current (human) officer.

I ask why. Our officers are potentially putting their lives on the line every time they go to work. Budget constraints are forcing them to work at dangerous staffing levels, putting their lives at even greater risk. The department and our officers should not be defined by the mistakes made by a small few but rather by their entire body of work and service to our community.

To help heal the SPD and our citizens’ view of our officers, you must start providing a more complete and balanced picture in your reporting. Our officers and the citizens of Spokane deserve it.

Heather Schmitz


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