Radio Silence Puts Citizens At Risk

Radio Silence Puts Citizens At Risk



Continuing our coverage of the silent police scanners in newsrooms across the Coachella Valley. We had yet another incident over the weekend and another example of endangering the public safety. This time, an armed stand-off, SWAT teams, road closures, and complete radio silence. When local media outlets complained about police scanners going silent a month ago our argument was, and is public safety. Last week when preschools were being evacuated, we were putting out information to the public at least one hour before the first tweet from public officials. On Saturday, a standoff situation in north Palm Springs. Now 48 hours later and still not a single post or tweet on the incident to warn the public.

“Breaking news situations, follow our twitter, our Facebook. We are very active on a variety of social media platforms,” Palm Springs Chief of Police told NBC Palm Springs.

Platforms that have proven to be unreliable, since police scanners have gone silent in newsrooms. Just last week, when viewers called for information on the potential bomb threat in Palm Desert, NBC Palm Springs was there. Going live, and updating you on social media over an hour before law enforcement sent out their first tweet.

Over the weekend, a calm neighborhood in Palm Springs was shaken when a SWAT team, and several units responded to a domestic disturbance call. Again, NBC Palm Springs was there, broadcasting live. Furthermore, even now, over 48 hours after an arrest was made, following the assault with a deadly weapon, the Palm Springs Police Department has yet to send out any information about the incident on Twitter.

So we, as the media, want to know how we can better inform the public on what’s going on. If both the police department and our police scanners are silent. NBC Palm Springs made multiple attempts to talk to somebody regarding why nothing has been sent out to the public, regarding Saturday’s SWAT standoff, via twitter, as promised by Chief Reyes. As of now the department says, no one is available to talk to us or even provide a statement. However it is this very information that is imperative for the media to know, in order to continue to give you up to the minute notifications, on dangerous situations happening in your community.

We will continue to reach out to the Palm Springs Police Department to find a way to bridge the gap that the loss of police scanners has created in our newsroom. All, in an attempt, to continue to give you better coverage.