Tompkins County
New York

Report or Discussion Item

Sheriff's Department Report - November 2017


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Category:Routine Departmental Activities or Statistics


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  2. Public Safety Report_ November 2017

Meeting History

Dec 21, 2017 3:00 PM  Public Safety Committee Regular Meeting

Sheriff Lansing introduced Lt. Donahue who addressed the Department's policy for reporting news items. Lt. Donahue said everything the Department does is addressed by a policy, including how they deal with the media for a variety of situations. Mr. John said there was a large incident on South Hill that prompted a number of questions and asked him to address that situation. Lt. Donahue said he is the Public Information Officer for the Sheriff's Department and stated the Department cannot comment on an ongoing investigation as it could jeopardize the investigation. There are many other reasons why they cannot give out information to the public, including notification to all family members when there is a fatality and stressed that information being released has to be entirely correct. He also noted that social media has made it very difficult. He commented he has used the Swift911 system and it will be very helpful. There is no set criteria for posting information to the website and they do what they are able to.

In response to Ms. Robertson, Lt. Donahue explained how the Department coordinates with the County's Public Information Officer and said when situations arise where the County should take the lead in public information he will turn it over to Marcia Lynch who is also included on the Department's media distribution. Ms. Lynch commented that she has reviewed the Department's public information policy and found it to make sense.