Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Teacher Accused Of Molesting Students, Media Firestorm Begins

I don't even know where to begin with this story over at CNN.

Mark Berndt, 61, was arrested on child molestation charges at his Torrance, California, home Monday and is being held pending $2.3 million bond in a Los Angeles County jail, according to Sheriff's Lt. Carlos Marquez.

He is scheduled to make a first appearance before a judge Wednesday morning on 23 counts of lewd acts on a child, according to the county's district attorney.

I'm not going to comment on the more lurid parts of this story. However, a crime such as this is going to have a huge impact on the investigating law enforcement agency. The attention by both the community and the media is liable to be intense.

I bring this up because you never know when a crime like this is going to be discovered in your community. Your agency needs to have plans in place beforehand on how to handle the media during these types of incidents. It's also important that the folks in your agency have practiced these plans beforehand.

Does your agency have a major media event plan in place? Have you practiced working with these plans?

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