BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A posting by another local news website revealing the existence of a quasi-confidential Boynton Beach Police document is leading to a series of strongly worded emails today from Boynton PD.
In an email this morning, Boynton spokeswoman Stephanie Slater chastised area media. The capitalization is hers — readers would not be wrong to interpret it as a mom yelling at her kids:
On Sept. 1, 2014, westbocanews.com incorrectly reported a story about the Boynton Beach Police Department posting a situational awareness bulletin in area hospitals. This LAW ENFORCEMENT USE bulletin was emailed to other law enforcement personnel only. It was not posted by Boynton Beach police in ANY hospital. The purpose of the bulletin was to inform law enforcement of information that we were gathering in the early stages of an investigation. That information has now been turned over to the FBI.
In the future, should you see a law enforcement bulletin such as this one, we urge you to contact us and understand all of the facts and reasoning behind the document BEFORE reporting about it.
Then this afternoon, another media reprimand from Slater:
For those media outlets who are choosing to move forward with this story, here is our official statement on the issue:
Anytime that we receive information that could pose a threat to an individual or business, it is our responsibility to look into it and share it with our law enforcement partners. The Boynton Beach Police Department would like to reassure the community that their safety is paramount, and we have no reason to believe it is unsafe to go to any area hospitals.
Boynton’s continued silence for what some perceive to be significant news stories continues to be noted. Just two weeks ago, Slater transmitted the following after two officers were injured during an arrest:
We are not releasing the officer’s name at this time. Please respect our efforts to afford him and his family some privacy as he begins what could be a lengthy healing process.
The names were ultimately released after several media requests.
And earlier in August, Boynton Beach Police used strong language to say nothing when white Boynton officers were seen on YouTube questionably handling the arrest of a black man.
Here’s what Slater transmitted then:
We are in receipt of Attorney Lemoine’s letter of intent to sue. As a result, we respectfully decline any further comment on the matter.
That generated this email from a senior staffer at the Palm Beach Post who apparently hit “reply all.”
Let’s Facebook, Twitter … Once we get write thru….and pin to top mobile
The suggestion being that Boynton’s continuously questionable media relations tactics be publicized.
Readers should appreciate that a police spokesperson operates in the very narrow confines of what police leadership authorizes him or her to say, however, rarely do Public Information Officers choose to use the communication tactic of repeatedly going on the offensive in email.