By Tracy Dingmann
My colleague Denise and I have written before about some of the more questionable tactics the Journal has taken in their (certainly understandable) quest to stay in business.
Let me say that today’s appearance of the new “advertising” supplement “Most Wanted Property Crime Offenders” falls into that questionable category. In an interview today on KKOB-AM radio, Police Chief Ray Schultz explained that it was one of the new tactics he was employing as police chief under new Mayor Richard Berry.
Journal readers are already treated to regular advertisements from the City of Albuquerque that show the pictures of people convicted of DWI along with their names, ages and blood alcohol content. I guess the city thinks holding people up to public ridicule is a deterrent – and the Journal is only too happy to agree with that argument.
This new section is a different bird. This one shows fugitives wanted on active warrants for things like robbery and aggravated burglary. Are these people dangerous? Could interacting with them in any way be harmful to you? Well, that’s what the notice that runs with the section tells you.
Warrants must be verified before arrest. These fugitives should be considered dangerous and might possibly be armed. Never attempt to detain or apprehend these subjects yourself. Please call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP with any information you might have as to the whereabouts of these individuals. You could earn up to $1,000. The Albuquerque Publishing Company has no input nor control over this content (emphasis mine).
Hmm…no control. Except for that fact that APC accepted the money for the hideous-looking section and is distributing it along with the morning paper.
I dunno, I can’t put my finger on it…but it just strikes me as wrong. I guess I just think that the police should do their (very dangerous) jobs and avoid the possibility that someone might try to crowdsource the apprehension of a middle-level criminal.
Also, I can’t help but wonder what’s gonna come next. Hooker and john pictures? Some papers actually do this! Please, Journal, don’t go down that route.