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Jail intake: If names are listed, they run

Posted Friday, January 25, 2008, at 10:40 AM

It's time I discussed some issues around names in the Times-Gazette's jail intake further.

Up front: We DO NOT leave names out of the jail intake -- at least not on our end. The problem is whether we get them to begin with.

I'd like to strongly remind all those Bedford County officials and personnel involved with the jail intake releases (the same thing other area newspapers call "arrest reports" or "arrest records") are PUBLIC RECORD as defined by state law. Names are NOT to be omitted.

In the Dawn Bobo situation, I'm honestly not sure what happened, and I've tried to find out.

In the words of School Resource Officer Bob Filer: "I DID NOT take Ms. Bobo into custody and transport her to the Sheriff's Department. Ms. Bobo left Liberty School in her own vehicle and was sent home by school administration. Ms. Bobo has never been at the sheriff's office due to this case."

I highly respect Filer; he bears no blame for anything in how this has been handled.

Apparently charges against Bobo didn't involve having to post bond. Therefore, no jail involvement or intake listing.

If she'd been on the jail intake sheet we receive each weekday, her name would have been published -- and this has been discussed with the sheriff's department.

Let's get off the specific Bobo issue and to the jail intake in general. We have a strong policy at the T-G that no one's left out, as I explain several times a year to people who beg to be omitted.

But I've begun to become a little suspicious lately as to whether a very small number of arrests haven't been released by officials.

Last summer I received a tip that a local horse trainer charged in a "domestic dispute" had requested his name be omitted from the jail intake following charges filed through the sheriff's department. Later that day, I received a jail intake sheet with a name blacked out. Turns out the name was the individual in question.

I explained to sheriff's department administrator Larry Lowman that we can't leave out names just because someone requests it. Lowman made sure I had an amended sheet the next day with the name not only listed but circled in red ink.

Another situation arose last year where the stepson of a well-known local man filed charges against him after a fight. Accusations were made of his name being left out. I checked and found that the charges were quickly withdrawn before an arrest was made-- so the man never made the intake.

That's happened several times before with others: charges were dropped so fast nothing made it into the paper.

I got another jail intake sheet late last year with a name marked out by dark ink and was unable to get a definitive answer from personnel in the jail office.

Those who are sworn to -- or to represent those who are sworn to -- serve the public owe full disclosure of all names as part of their jobs. To do otherwise is a disservice to the public and should result in dismissal from their jobs. T

They may also want to search their own consciences as to the fact that special treatment for certain persons is flat out wrong.


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

Thanks, David, for creating a blog on this. As soon as I finish my "crack pipe", I'll try and add some input to this topic.

-- Posted by Dolittle on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 11:13 AM

Dolittle, you mean you can read and comprehend what the blog says? You also comprehended part of my last post directed at you, but I see you still did not respond to what my question was from my original post on the other blog. Enjoy your crack.

-- Posted by bunchabull on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 11:54 AM

In the words of School Resource Officer Bob Filer: "I DID NOT take Ms. Bobo into custody and transport her to the Sheriff's Department. Ms. Bobo left Liberty School in her own vehicle and was sent home by school administration. Ms. Bobo has never been at the sheriff's office due to this case."

I highly respect Filer; he bears no blame for anything in how this has been handled.

Apparently charges against Bobo didn't involve having to post bond. Therefore, no jail involvement or intake listing. - from this blog

David, are you saying that if someone is given a summons and does not have to post bond, then their name does not run in the jail intake? If that is your statement, then I will present you with evidence to the contrary.

-- Posted by bunchabull on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 12:03 PM

You're right, bunchabull. When I wrote that I was thinking more in terms of some cases such as minor traffic offenses. There are cases, such as those charged with passing bad checks, where no bond is posted but we get their name and run it

-- Posted by David Melson on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 12:12 PM

Who cares if her name was not in the blotter or arrest records . . . it's not like there haven't been articles in the newspaper about the case and what she did so everyone knows anyway.

If people are upset because her name didnt show up in the blotter then these sad pathetic people need to get a life.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 12:13 PM

Who cares if her name was not in the blotter or arrest records . . . it's not like there haven't been articles in the newspaper about the case and what she did so everyone knows anyway.

If people are upset because her name didnt show up in the blotter then these sad pathetic people need to get a life.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 12:13 PM

And then there are people that are happy, successful people that have plenty of life, but believe that what applies to one should apply to another, no matter the name, occupation or social standing. I'm one of those people.

-- Posted by bunchabull on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 12:53 PM

heehee, The name of the blog sounds like the people listed in the report run off somewhere.

It's Friday and I've been with 110 teen-agers all week. My mind is a little off.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 2:17 PM

Jacks4me

I thought the same thing...I thought wow people are running off because their name is listed in jail intake

-- Posted by Dianatn on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 4:51 PM

I have heard of lots of snitches are not listed in the blotter. For everyone's information I counted 69 people in court on Wed. Not counting the 4 domestic violence. Only 4 could not speak english.

-- Posted by Union on Fri, Jan 25, 2008, at 9:39 PM

Jail intake: If names are listed, they run

That is funny. :)

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sat, Jan 26, 2008, at 1:34 AM

LOL!

We must find these people and bring them back to justice! =)

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 10:06 AM

Who cares if names are listed? People get into trouble daily that have never been in trouble before. Not everyone's name has been put on the blotter, you can drive Madison St. on a Friday or Saturday night and you will see at least 10 Mexicans being arrested but when the blotter comes out in the paper only 4 out of the 10 will show up. Why is that? Can the jail intake people not spell their names? all they would have to do is look at their ID. OH WAIT! They don't have any but that isn't printed.

-- Posted by groovychic on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 9:01 PM

WTF? Get over yourself! Racism was a big deal last century, and thankfully we are moving forward...

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 11, 2008, at 10:03 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.