January 16, 2020
We had a recent question or comment from a reader on one of our last posts that we think merits some explanation. The person commenting felt the police department was wasting its time doing a blotter, since we were already communicating that information to the press directly. The person seemed upset that police department was wasting resources on social media outreach.
First, social media outreach has become an important tool for law enforcement across the country in reaching out to their communities in a more direct way. If you take the time to look, you’ll find the most every police department and sheriff’s office in the country is following this trend. The benefit is that we get to post our own photos, our own video, and communicate the same information to the general public that was previously only available to the press. We think that’s pretty cool.
Second, we no longer communicate directly with the press on simple blotter items, but have revamped our approach which mirrors other practices around the country. We now communicate blotter information through our Facebook and department website. The press then picks out what they think is important or interesting, do their own editing and post it in the paper. If there is a bigger story, we will do a, "Press Release," which will be posted on our website, social media sites and then follow up with an emailed to the regional press group. What follows is a lot of phone calls to the Public Information Officer with requests for additional information or clarification.
Last, we don’t feel it is a waste of time to communicate via Facebook or other social medial platforms. We want to be transparent. We want you to see what the police department is doing and understanding why we are doing it. We want you to see the people behind the badge and their commitment to keep your community safe. Above all, we want you to see everything we do, not just the big stuff or the controversial stuff. We want you to see the everyday, boring, sometimes goofy things that go on in your town being handled by the men and women at the police department. Be assured though, that if there is more important work that needs done, the blotter will get tabled until a later time.
Hope that helps anyone who had the same question. On to the one blotter item from last night!
20011557: On January 16, 2019, at about 11:24 p.m., Officer Gerlach responded to a disturbance at the Cowboy Bar. It was reported that a man was fighting with the doorman. We should point out that the Cowboy Bar is a private business. That’s often forgotten by usually intoxicated patrons who believe they have a right to be in the bar. You should always remember you are a guest and that if you become disruptive, the Cowboy or any other business has the right to ask you to leave. If you don’t, it’s called Trespassing. It would be the same as if you were having a party at your house and Uncle Joe started getting out of hand. You would have every right to tell him to leave and call the cops if he didn’t. In this case, Officer Gerlach responded and learned two men had been kicked out of the bar for an unknown reason. After being kicked out, they decided to re-enter the bar. While doing so, one of the men slapped one of the doorman. He said he was just being, "Playful," but come on, even if it’s true it’s not okay. As a result, Officer Gerlach gave a ticket to the 40 year old Waunakee, WI man. His companion was extremely intoxicated, (.224%), and had to be arrested for Public Intoxication. We should mention we only did so after we gave him an opportunity to go get a taxi and go home and then found him walking the wrong way a short time later. We tried.
That’s it for today’s blotter, Jackson. Stay informed about what your police department is doing by continuing to read our blotter.