I guess I don't need to remind anybody how much I dislike the policies of our police department under the current Chief. Today was just one more thing to shake my head in bewilderment over.
The chatter on the police radio was to the effect that a man with a gun was wandering around at the high school. I did not hear the initial traffic, but got a couple of calls on my cell phone about it. I only live a few minutes away from the school and was on the scene pretty fast.
Now for those that are not familiar with Gallup, the high school is about 3/4 mile down a dead end road. A really long way off. They blocked the road at the the intersection and kept every movement hidden - like getting their entry guys ready behind an adjacent motel. It would have been nice for them to let me see them getting ready, get my photo outside of the perimeter and be out of everybody's way.
Of course that didn't happen and I started looking for other images to shoot. Not a lot to be seen from where I was allowed to be at, but I tried to show what was there.
The PIO (public information officer) drove by and she acknowledged the reporter and myself, saying she'd talk to us when she came back out. So we stood around and waited.
Then suddenly the fire truck that was parked in the hotel parking lot starts up and leaves. That is when I head him call the dispatch center and tell them that he is done with the exercise and RTB.
Yep. The whole thing was a training exercise. there was no school today because of the holiday, but teachers were in the building for training of their own. I later found out that there was an observation area inside the school that several school officials were inside watching from.
Logic would dictate that this would be the time that you want the attention and the coverage - show off what you are doing and make the tax-paying citizens more willing to trust that the department is prepared to handle things. Instead all the policies of the department do is make me wonder just what it is that they are feeling the need to hide from us-- incompetence perhaps? The more they say no access, the more a journalist wants to push and find out what is going on.