Letter: Story compromised police work

This is a surveillance photo of the suspect This is a surveillance photo of the suspect wanted for a pattern of armed robberies in Suffolk. Photo Credit: Handout

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The Coalition of Suffolk Police Unions condemns Newsday's decision to publish "Sources: Suffolk robber may have used body shop vehicles to flee holdup" [News, Jan. 14]. The article contained specific investigative details that not only compromised an ongoing investigation, but more important, put Suffolk families and police officers at risk.

By disclosing facts about Suffolk County Police operational tactics and strategies that were specific to this investigation, and could have alerted the suspect that he had been identified and lived "in Medford," Newsday could have compromised the success of the investigation, aided the suspect in avoiding apprehension and carelessly put at risk both the safety of the police investigators and the Suffolk families we work so hard to protect.

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The article revealed confidential and specific details from "intelligence documents" that were critical to the success of this investigation -- details neither the reporter nor Newsday was entitled to.

We urge Newsday to re-evaluate its criteria for printing improperly obtained, sensitive information that compromises safety. We are aware of the importance and obligation of news outlets to report news to the public. However, journalistic integrity requires responsible reporting of news that does not come at the cost of public safety or the ability of the authorities to protect the public and prosecute criminals.

Noel DiGerolamo, Bohemia

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, a police officers union.
 

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