Friday, September 18, 2009

And Now A Word from Art Acevedo

We awoke to a loud noise this morning in Austin. It shook the very ground. At first I thought it was a thunderclap. I looked up into the sky. But no, the sky was clear.

Then I thought it might be an explosion, a terrorist attack or something. But no, it wasn’t that either.

What was it?

It was the sound of Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo stamping his little foot and saying he’s not going to take it anymore.

What's got his panties all in a tangle? Quoting from the Austin American-Statesman:

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he and some of his officers have been harassed, lied about and had their identities falsely used in online blogs and in reader comment sections on local media Internet sites.

They've had enough.

In a meeting this month with department brass, Acevedo and the group discussed how they think such posts erode public trust in the department and how they have been wrongly maligned.

They have since researched their legal options and decided that from now on, they might launch formal investigations into such posts, Acevedo said. He said investigators might seek search warrants or subpoenas from judges to learn the identities of the authors — he thinks some could be department employees — and possibly sue them for libel or file charges if investigators think a crime was committed.

"A lot of my people feel it is time to take these people on," Acevedo said. "They understand the damage to the organization, and quite frankly, when people are willfully misleading and lying, they are pretty much cowards anyway because they are doing so under the cloak of anonymity …"

The first thought that comes to my mind upon reading this is that the Austin Police Department does so good a job damaging its own reputation it needs no help from the public. I mean, why should anyone post an idiotic comment under Art Acevedo’s name when he makes enough idiotic comments on his own?

Here's another thing that concerns me ...

The Austin Police Department solves roughly 12% of all reported crimes. That's not so good, but it's better than zero percent, which is what it will be with the cops spending their time and resources tracking down people who write mean things about them.

Just for the record, I've never written anything anonymously in my life. All my criticisms of the cops, politicians, and what-have-you have been written and published under my own name.

But now I'm thinking that might not be such a good idea. It might even be dangerous. Cops are so crazy these days you never know what they might do—and Art Acevedo in particular is so sensitive ...

Why, if he were to read this blog, there’s no telling what he might do. He might even hit me with his purse.

I can't take the chance. Therefore, I'm signing this blog post as…

Your obedient public servant,
Art Acevedo