Yarmouth police chief defends department's commitment to transparency

Chief responds to Yarmouth leaders, business owners looking to curb media contact

Editor's note: Below Yarmouth Police Chief Frank G. Frederickson responds to criticism from Yarmouth leaders and business owners that the department shares too much information with the media and residents through social media.  The issue came to light Saturday, when the Cape Cod Times published "Yarmouth police asked to tone it down".  See blogger Roger MacBride's post "Yarmouth - crime...dealt with but not publicized".

Since Saturday's Cape Cod Times article titled, “Yarmouth Police Asked to Tone it Down” there has been overwhelming support of the Yarmouth Police Department and how we are communicating information.

The Yarmouth Police Department is very appreciative of your support. Yarmouth is similar to every other community in that the criminal element is a very small minority but they cause most of the problems. It is my duty to provide you with the best services to prevent and respond to crime. I am extremely proud of what the men and women of the Yarmouth Police Department do to accomplish this every minute of every day.

The Yarmouth Police Department also has firm support from all of our Selectman and Town Administrator William Hinchey and our goals on the impact of media are similar.

We are honored to be one of only three police departments in New England to be the recipient of the prestigious 2012 New England Association of Chiefs of Police Community Policing Award for our wide ranging list of community based projects and events that we are involved with every day with specific recognition of our proactive commitment to transparency and inclusion rather than secrecy and exclusion. By working together as an informed community we will reduce crime, improve public safety, and increase tourism and continue to build successful partnerships as we move forward and make Yarmouth the Safest Community in the Region to visit, work, live and raise a family.

As your Chief of Police I want to make clear my views which are:

  • The Yarmouth Police Department created and committed to the concept of “Team Yarmouth” as an approach to problem solving and improving the town in many ways. We believe that a group can make a better decision than an individual.
  • Our Selectman, Town Administrator, Department Heads, citizens, volunteers and business leaders have been supportive of the Police Department and have all contributed to the improvements that have been made and those that are planned.
  • In this information age, social media and traditional media are vital to sharing important and timely public safety information as well as other information of interest to the community.
  • A media committee has been formed to address concerns or seek improvement to media policies. I am supportive of listening to concerns in order to identify areas of improvement that will strike the right balance that meets public safety needs.

In conclusion, sharing of information will remain an important component of the Police Department. I will freely consider the direction that is developed from the Media Committee in order to continuously improve the impact the department can have on public safety. I am confident that the end product will be beneficial to all.

Respectfully,

Frank G. Frederickson
Chief of Police
Yarmouth, MA

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