89% voted, “Yes, the public should know where and when arrests are made”
By Andrew Harris
We asked this question out of the utmost respect for the Hornell Police Department and because this police department is a unique bird. While most local police forces annouce, even promote, arrests and significant police activity, HPD only uses social media when necessary and provides the “blotter” for inspection at headquarters.
Let’s face it, law enforcement activity is very popular news so you can understand our interest. Our ability to visit the police station daily and report on the log of arrests is limited(but could be a job for someone!!!) So we wondered how readers felt about the news of law and order in the Maple City.
The voting wasn’t robust but statistically significant. About 9 % of votes noted an approval for the current HPD policy, and only 2.3% feel that the public has no interest in police report.
Perhaps it was happenstance, but yesterday the Hornell Police Department issued a Facebook statement in an attempt to arrest a fugitive from justice in the city.
We hope our re-publishing that Facebook post the HornellSun.com was a service to the HPD and to the community. We also hope the poll had just a tiny impact on Chief Murray and his team of law enforcement professionals.
The value of publishing regular arrest reports isn’t just to draw readers to our site. These reports are a key barometer of criminal activity in Hornell. To benchmark the Wellsville Police Department, reporting a rash of vehicle thefts reminds residents to lock up and be vigilent. The report of multiple DWI arrests is important to provide an accounting of police work to citizens and local governments who receive special funding to enforce DWI laws. Public reporting of police activity shows the hard work that police do, providing a black and white counter to any suggestions of defunding the police.