Over the years, several of those who have appeared in Police Beat after being cited or arrested have questioned the Wildcat's journalistic ethics with respect to the column. A number of their letters have inspired defensive editorial retorts that might prompt one to again question those ethics. Pity. The Wildcat's removal of Police Beat might make room for a different column, lest they continue to remind readers of how much room there is for improvement.
It would be unreasonable to suggest that the university's police activity is none of the public's business, as their information in police reports is indeed a matter of public record. The suspected criminal activity in these reports, prior to legal due process, is simply suspicion on the part of law enforcement officials and hardly justifies a mandate for methodical and routine journalistic coverage. Most of the arrests detailed in Police Beat do not lead to criminal convictions on their subsequent charges. This creates a pattern of unsubstantiated reports which can be damaging to students' individual and collective morale.
It would certainly be nice to see Police Beat omitted from future editions of the Daily Wildcat. While the factual content of these columns qualifies as news and makes for entertaining reading, there is no excuse for a student paper consistently displaying humiliating and potentially false information about students.
Pima Community College
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