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Police chief addresses media relations


The release of e-mails referred to in this story were the result of a public records request filed by the Idaho Falls Post Register.


During a City Council Work Session Monday, the Idaho Falls Police Chief Bryce Johnson addressed the police’s relationship with the media.

Recently, some emails were disclosed from the mayor saying she was concerned with the amount of “troublesome info” coming from the police department.

In the recent election, Mayor Casper was scrutinized by opposing group “Businesses for Growth” about a “lack of transparency.” In the meeting, Mayor Casper said, “An essential part of community policing is communicating with the public.”

The chief says a part of their vision is being open, and they choose not to have an adversarial relationship with the media.

“We’re an open department. We’re a public agency,” says Chief Johnson.

The chief also talked about the importance of communicating to get the public’s help and reporting high-interest crimes. He talked about wanting the public to know when something good happens and gave the example of communicating when officers make quick arrests or help the community. He also spoke about putting public service announcements with reminders for the public.

Mayor Casper says she was receiving duplicate press releases and that’s what she was referring to. She says she sent the email out of curiosity and not to stop the spread of information.

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