Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. There always seems to be a few days a month where the daily blotter doesn't get posted. Is there a Sgt. who just doesnt do it, or maybe a acting shift supervisor who doesn't want to do/approve it? Seems random, but frequent enough to have a cause. Does a daily post get neglected if there is a DUI arrest that doesnt want to go public before conviction?
Dear Juneau Resident,
The standard practice is the activity bulletin runs from noon the day before scheduled posting to noon the day of posting. Dispatchers have from noon to 2:00 p.m. to get the roughly one sentence disclosure signed off if the case officer or sergeant hasn't already done it. In a pinch, the communications lieutenant will write/edit/sign off the bulletin for a particular case if that person is available.
Do things sometimes go wrong? Absolutely! Sometimes there is an argument between the computer and the person trying to do the posting. Some of us are particularly prone to clashes with JPD computers. A computer or program being tempramental almost always wins that battle, at least until we call in the big guns from IT. After a problem like that we could post several days of activity or a time frame that is days old. We did that earlier this week when Saturday's bulletin didn't post.
Sometimes there is human error. There might be a miscommunication over who was going to do the posting that day. Dispatch might get a big call or a bunch of small calls and the dispatcher had to prioritize what he or she was doing. Taking care of people always comes first, taking care of paper comes second so the activity bulletin might get neglected. Those days also can lead to some 'catching up' with the bulletin the next day.
As far as neglecting a post because some person wants to avoid the embarrassment of a DUI arrest being in the paper, no way! It comes up all the time that people want us to avoid releasing that they were arrested. I'll tell you what we tell them, an arrest is public information and it is going to be released. We don't pick and choose because the report carries a certain name.