Verifying tips from the public

Often times, investigative reporters receive tips from the public concerning information that is related to an active investigation. In these instances, reporters are encouraged to contact the Public Information Officers to verify the validity of tips. Sometimes, the tip can be verified and more information provided. Other times the investigation could be adversely impacted by a news story at that point in the investigation. Although, it is clear that news agencies and the Police Department work independently, it benefits both agencies to have an open dialogue and frank conversations. There will not always be a consensus, but maintaining an honest and respectful relationship is one of the goals of the Public Relations Unit. That positive working relationship between Media and law enforcement, ultimately benefits the community. Based on past experiences, it is clear that the Columbia Police Department and local Media understand that the primary objectives are to preserve the integrity of the investigation and protect the public.

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