The Raleigh Police Department has a written policy in how it will work with reporters in the field. "As needed, media representatives will be informed about accessible areas, about areas that have been secured and restricted such as crime scenes, and about any particular restrictions that might apply," part of the policy says. "In some instances, to ensure that safety and necessary order are maintained, a media assembly area will be created to provide a designated location for media representatives and for the dissemination of information."
Roger Stancil, Chapel Hill town manager, said his police department does not have a written policy but is interested in developing one. In an e-mail to me, he asked if we would be interested in discussing a proposed policy with him and his staff. I said yes. For the latest on Chapel Hill's internal review of the Nov. 13 raid at what had been a vacant building, click here for today's story.
During that raid, Katelyn Ferral, a reporter for The N&O and Chapel Hill News who was covering the news, was cuffed with a zip-tie and detained by police. A written policy could have prevented that. We appreciate the invitation by Stancil to join the discussion and hope we can find a solution that lets police and reporters do their jobs.