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Tallahassee Police Department steps back from restrictive media policy

Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 18:24:45-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Tallahassee Police Department is stepping back from the restrictive media guidelines released earlier this month after a called meeting with members of local news outlets.

These guidelines, released on Nov. 9, limited what information would be made available and at what time, hindering the ability of the media to get information out in a timely manner.

Part of the guidelines outlined that certain crimes would not be reported until normal business hours, meaning it could be a day or more before information would be released.

This raised concerns for local media outlets and journalists as crime, and the news, doesn't adhere to regular business hours.

However, a discussion meeting was not called with local news outlets until after the guidelines were already in place.

During Thursday’s meeting, Chief Lawrence Revell acknowledged that the department "got the process wrong on this one."

“We dropped the ball here and did not follow our own protocols, which caused undue concern and angst,” Revell said. “We are really earnest in our desire to be transparent.”

Revell has vowed to work on greater transparency with TPD and media outlets, beginning with the relaxing of these restrictive guidelines.

Another meeting is being planned to discuss guideline revisions, until then the previous policy has been put on hold.