Another Douglas County Sheriff’s office news release is lapped up without any journalistic judgment by the Omaha World-Herald.
In a practice that utterly fails to make any contribution to public safety, the sheriff sends people around to invade the homes of registered citizens. It finds the vast majority are doing what they should be doing.
It cranks out a news release and gullible auto-pilot “news” organizations regurgitate. Some of the questions a real reporter would ask:
- There are 800 to 900 RSOs in Douglas County at last count. Why were only 137 visited? How were they chosen? Why followups with the 40 who were not contacted and not the other 750 on the list?
- Who paid for this? How much did it cost to conduct these checks?
- How does this make Douglas County safer? Research done by the University of Nebraska-Omaha shows that registered citizens are not significant risks for reoffense.
- What does non-compliant mean? They weren’t home? Walking the dog? Taking a daughter to soccer practice? At work? People are INNOCENT until proven guilty–the article says that warrants will be sought, not that they were obtained.
- What is the legal justification for conducting these home invasions? Why are these people presumed to have done something wrong? (No one else gets compliance checks to see if they have broken the law once they are off paper).
- Would Douglas County conduct these publicity stunts if people just stopped answering their doors? If it is a warrantless home invasion, you don’t have to answer the knock or doorbell ring.