I have an issue with the presentation of The Forecaster’s weekly section, the Police Beat. The Police Beat provides a list of arrests and summonses, but fails to report on whether those served were actually convicted. This is a regrettable oversight. As has again been witnessed in recent national incidents, the police account of an event is merely one side of the story. Readers of The Forecaster should be reminded that citizens listed are only alleged to have committed a crime. In practice, once The Forecaster publishes the name, age, and address of a local citizen, they are promptly convicted in the minds of readers before being entitled to legal due process.

I challenge The Forecaster to justify their publishing of the weekly Police Beat. What is the purpose of such a log? If the motivation for providing the Police Beat is to publicly disgrace the alleged offenders, then it is simply unfair for their names to appear in print before having a chance to fight the allegations. If the motivation of the Police Beat is to alert townspeople of nearby crime, then The Forecaster should likewise wait for convictions to be served. However, if the intention of the Police Beat is merely for the amusement of readers, then shame on The Forecaster for providing such entertainment, and shame on the local townspeople for their delight in reading of the infractions.

Peter Strand