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Blogging the thin blue line
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, 11 July 2006 18:41

When the news of a new crime breaks, media and public alike tend to focus upon the perpetrator(s) and their victim(s). Various individuals, including the authors of this blog, proffer opinions that range from psychological aspects to attempting to identify patterns regarding the who and why. Outside of extraordinary acts of heroism however law enforcement appears to be nothing more than an assumed, yet necessary, fixture in the investigative landscape--who, for the most part, go largely ignored. That is, unless they find themselves under intense media scrutiny--usually for allegedly not so admirable deeds.

While their days are often filled with the seemingly mundane, such as cruising the city, filling out paper work, and lest we forget, the obligatory donut shop, there are times when their somewhat repetitively boring routines will be interrupted with various less than serene incidents--most of which do not make it to the evening news much less the MSM. It is these little heard of cases where they may find themselves perhaps retrospectively pondering their day, their job, or life in general. These are the men and women of the thin blue line and here is what some of them have to say:

"The radio squarks. It sounds like an exciting job. One that requires urgent police attention. One that wakes every copper up and motivates them. You are in luck and get assigned to the job before the world and his wife put their hand up. As luck happens you are round the corner from the incident and first to arrive on the scene. You arrive."-- The Special Constable

"To cut a long story short, the police negotiated the release of a child from the house and after around seven hours the siege was ended peacefully."-- Random Acts of Reality

"A few months back I dealt with a homophobic assault where several youths assaulted a man leaving a gay bar. As they ran away from their ignoble deeds one shouted to the others "CCTV! HOODS!". And low, this band of warriors all raised their hoods thus preventing us from identifying them by using CCTV which had very nice, very clear pictures, other than the small let-down of not being able to see anyones faces."-- The Sleepy Policman

"When I joined the job, the country had something like 115,000 police officers. That's something like about 1 officer per 486 people."-- 200 weeks

"People feel like prisoners in their own towns and street. They are turn a blind eye to cleaning up their neighborhoods incase they are prosecuted for some obscene human rights garble... David Cameron, Jonathan Ross & Jeremy Clarkson save us..."-- The Special Constable

"We do not have the luxury of deciding between rehabilitation and punishment, but we must follow the law. The sentencing process is one in which we are directed by Parliament and guided by the higher courts and the Sentencing Guidelines Council. Not all of us like being so boxed in, but its the law, so its the way we have to do it"-- The Magistrate

"The reason why blogs such as mine are so popular is because they tell you the stories that arent interesting enough for mainstream media to dedicate time to. We humanise the jobs that are often just nameless men in uniforms. Perhaps we need an armed police blog..."-- Random Acts of Reality

Of the thirty-nine law enforcement blogs, there are four departmental blogs. The Dakshina Kannada PD of Mangalore, India was the first department to launch a blog. Their debut was just a little over six months ago, on November 16, 2005. They were followed the next day by the Boston PD. Nearly six months later, and on May 10, 2006, the LAPD launched their department blog. They were soon followed by the Tulsa PD on May 22, 2006.

Unlike personal blogs, the departmental blogs have been designed to inform the public of unsolved and solved cases as well as encouraging active involvement in fighting crime. For example, the Boston PD provides daily incident reports, statistics, synopses, and tributes. The LAPD informs the public of ongoing investigations, such as the male nurse who was sexually abusing his patients or the registered sex offender who was seen loitering near school grounds. They also provide crime stats as well as cold and closed case information.

The benefit of blogging the thin blue line involves a greater degree of information control as well as providing a mechanism for communication between law enforcement and the public. That is, to the degree they choose to move away from the MSM for disseminating their information. Ignoring Mariel Garzas rather scathing article regarding the so-called "newcomer" to the blogsphere, I expect to see the landscape changing in the next year as more women and men in blue begin to relying upon this communication channel to communicate with the greater public. In the meantime, please join me in extending a long overdue welcome to the men and women in blue by dropping by their blogs for a read. Links to all 39 blogs can be found on the front page sidebar under the thin blue line blogroll.


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