LAW ENFORCEMENT & SCENE SAFETY
LEARN MORE ABOUT BEING SAFE AT THE SCENE
The safety of journalists during law enforcement incidents is a top priority for Law Enforcement Public Information Officers. The best way to keep yourself safe is to listen to the scene PIO and receive directions on where you can safely report.
As the liaison between a first responder agency and the media, a PIO's goal is to give journalists the ability to communicate and share information with the public, without facing physical or moral threats.
As a reporter, your goal is to get close enough to observe and reporter on the scene, without jeopardizing your safety or the safety of others.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SCENE SAFETY?
During any large scale law enforcement incident, the Incident Command (or IC) will be responsible for scene safety. Their main priority will be the safety of their officers or deputies, who will be the first to respond.
Many times, local journalists will also respond out to law enforcement scenes, along with an agency Public Information Officer. You are doing your job and we WANT to help you. As the Public Information Officer, we will work with our Incident Command to help you achieve the shots to tell your story. But as a reporter, you need to listen to the guidelines and parameters being set by the responding PIO. Their main priority is to communicate to you what is unfolding, all while keeping you safe from any potential threats.
RULES FOR REPORTING AT A SCENE
1. Carry identification and your credentials with you at all times.
2. Do not go on property that is clearly private or marked with a police tape. You can be charged with criminal trespass for entering a crime scene.
3. If a Public Information Officer is present, speak to them about where it is safest for you to shoot footage. They will also be your first point on contact in helping you gather information to report.
4. Follow police orders even when you would rather not. The consequence of disobeying police at a crime scene or a high-tension event is possible arrest and could jeopardize your safety or the safety of others.
5. Do not shoot video footage that could jeopardize the tactics and operations of the law enforcement incident. There could be potential legal consequences for doing so.
Public Information Officer's are here to help! We want accurate and timely information to be shared with our community, just as much as you do. We are all here to serve our community, so collaboration and respect between PIO's and media is essential!
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Mesa County Jurisdictions
It's essential to know the lay of the land to get the best story from the correct sources. Learn more about Mesa County jurisdictions.