Law enforcement and
the media has been a major topic for both the police and the media for years. The
relationship between the police and media has been a controversial topic at
times. The main purpose of both the Police and the media is to serve the
community. Both law enforcement and the media need each other for a
professional working relationship to better serve to public. (Lushbaugh &
Weston, 2012, P.41)

            The
need for law enforcement to the media is important because it makes up
one-third of the news coverage. The media is essential for the public because
they advise them of information about wanted subjects or crime trends in their
neighborhood. Media can also advise people of the various crimes happening in
their area at the time it is happening.  (Lushbaugh
& Weston, 2012, P.41) Media relations can go both directions when they report the news about law
enforcement. The media can either tell the public that the department is honest
and professional or on the other hand, can label a department corrupt and not
trustworthy. The media believes they are the ears and eyes of the
community and think it is their duty to “tell it like it is”. (www.fdle.state.fl.us)

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            Law
enforcement’s practice has been to give as little information as possible to
the media due to a handful of reasons, like an active investigation. This in
turn can make the media feel law enforcement is hiding and withholding
information. More departments are coming to the conclusions that positive media
relations could improve their image and develop empathy with the community. (www.fdle.state.fl.us)

            Recently,
law enforcement departments in the United States have created a position
dedicated to media relations. The media spokesperson is responsible for providing
information to the community through interviews with media reporters. This
approach results in a positive outlook for law enforcement but yet, can still
restrict critical information while satisfying the media. By having a media
spokesperson law enforcement departments also realizes that the community gains
trust and confidence by hearing positive news. (www.fdle.state.fl.us)

            It
is apparent that both law enforcement and the media have the same goal but for different
reasons. Law enforcement and the media can thrive together if they can
compromise on both ends. Communication is a key element for the relationship to
exist between the two.