Local police talk openly on misconceptions and public perception

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WCNT) – On Monday, Greenville police continued its community outreach efforts by speaking one on one with the people about what they believe is the biggest problem facing law enforcement right now.

Greenville police’s deputy chief Ted Sauls spoke at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Information is going out so fast that often people don’t get a chance to truly digest it,” said Sauls. “We live in an age where our media, not just our film media or our paper media, but our social media, our Facebook, our Twitter, everything is instantly tangible.”

Deputy Chief Sauls said one of the biggest issues facing law enforcement nationwide is public perception.

He says people often look at a video clip and draw conclusions before gathering all the facts.

“We just ask the public to look at those situations with a critical eye and ask the right questions,” said Sauls. “If you don’t get the answers you want by all means come to your police department. Let us take a part in helping you find a solution and an answer you’re looking for.”

Sauls said our ability to share content through multi-media platforms can make us see recurring content more often.

“If that’s constantly played and I see the same information, not negative media, but information. It’s not pleasant hearing about someone being hurt or being injured or even action law enforcement has to take,” he said.

Sauls added trending items online can leave a lasting impact on our minds.

For Sauls connecting with the public through the media is the main goal.

“We have the order that we do because of our citizens not because of us,” said Sauls. “It’s really important to us that our citizens trust us and they seek us out for the answers that we need and that our officers are not under such a level of hypervigilance that it becomes unhealthy.”

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