By day I’m a police spokesperson…but at my core I’m still a cop.
I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and to protect and serve the community. This oath is very personal to me and I believe that one of my biggest responsibilities is to protect victims of crime.
While I’m not normally out on patrol and interacting with victims and suspects these days, I still find it vitally important to protect victims of sexual abuse by my work as a spokesperson.
I understand that alleged rape suspects deserve to have their name out there. These people have made the decision to violate to most personal thing another person possesses – their body.
Each day as I read the jail logs and the end-of-shift reports, I cringe each time I see the charge of sexual battery…because I know that I’m about to fight a battle. News agencies want to write these stories.
I don’t want them to. I’m thinking about the victims.
In the past week or so, we have had the unfortunate job to investigate a number of cases involving child victims of sexual violence. Any person that has been a victim of sexual violence is already traumatized, but I can’t fathom what these children are going through.
Unfortunately for these victims, the arrest reports of the person that raped them is public record – with some exceptions. Florida Law does protect their names and any information that could identify them…but I constantly disagree with reporters on what information could identify them.
To me – ages and gender of child sexual violence victims are a vital piece of the identification puzzle. Some reporters disagree.
My feelings on this are strong and they are very deeply rooted. I will continue to fight to protect these victims. They have been through enough already. They don’t need to have their friends and family read about what some monster did to them.
I’m not saying that reporters don’t understand the issue…I’m saying that anyone that has the job of providing news to the public needs to seriously think “what if this were me…or my sister…or my mother…or my daughter?” Would you want their friends and coworkers to read about them?
At the end of the day, I’m still a cop. I will do everything in my power to protect these victims.