May 9, 2013
I was amazed and astonished to read in a local newspaper the story of a car burglary in League City in which the vehicle happened to be a Galveston police car assigned to a Galveston Police SWAT Officer.
The officer is a resident of League City, as many Galveston officers are, and his assigned vehicle, loaded with his SWAT gear, was locked and parked in his driveway when a car burglar(s) broke into it and stole the contents, among them, an assault rifle and a couple of pistols.
What perplexes me is why this newspaper chose to publish not only the name of the officer, but his residence address.
I has been a media policy for as long as I can remember, and I'm speaking of cities like Houston, Dallas and cities of their size, to never endanger the life of a police officer and/or his family by publishing his/her home address. But this publication did.
This same publication seldom, if ever, reveals the exact address of news events, publishing only the block number in which they occur. It does not print the home addresses of criminals arrested, or crime victims. Why then did it choose to identify this officer's home address? It is very suspicious and leads one to believe there was an underlying motivation for it.
It was apparent from reading the story that the paper did not get the information from the League City Police Department, which is the investigating agency, but through a rogue, underground source, which the paper did not reveal. The source that turned that report over to the newspaper is probably guilty of a criminal act. I hope that person is found out and prosecuted. I also hope the Galveston Municipal Police Association makes a formal complaint to the publication and goes on records as opposing this sort of conduct in the future. It would also be well for the League City Police Department to investigate how that police report got into the hands of an unscrupulous reporter.
One of the lowest things a publication can do is to endanger the life of it's sources, especially if that source is a public servant. A publication that throws all principals and good judgement to the wind and does this, looses all credibility as a legitimate news media, in my opinion.
Not only should the person who made the police report available be prosecuted, the reporter or editor, or whoever allowed the story to be published with this officer's home address included, should be expelled from the news business and never be allowed to return.
That's the way I see it!
Breck Porter, Editor
THE POLICE NEWS