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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Medina first to test out e-blotter

It seems like a person can go on the Internet and find information on just about anything these days, from up-to-the-minute sports scores to online shopping malls. Everything, that is, except for city police blotters.

The Medina Police Department in Medina, Ohio, is the only police department in the United States to post its daily blotter on the Internet.

“To me, it seems pretty weird that we would be the only ones doing this,” said Lt. Greg Mason of the Medina Police Division. “It’s nothing different than what anyone who came into the police station could view.”

According to Mason, his department began publishing the blotter on the Internet to make it more easily accessible to the public, especially the media.

While he doesn’t think the blotter being on the Internet will deter criminals, Mason does think it will make people more aware of what is going on in the neighborhood, which he cited as one of the main goals of publishing on the Web.

“I think it can make people more aware of what’s happening or be more aware so if they see there have been five auto break-ins during the week they can look out for suspicious vehicles,” he said. “I don’t see someone saying ‘Uh-oh, there were five break-ins, I better not break into a car tonight.'”

Although publishing the police blotter on the Internet can have its advantages by allowing more people to have easier access, the Bowling Green Police Department has not even considered using this method.

“We may do that eventually, but we don’t do that at this point,” said Gary Spencer, deputy chief major of the BGPD. “Our blotter is so extensive it would be hard to put on the Internet.”

Spencer said he thinks it is easier for the media to pick up the blotter at the police station. That way they can get their questions answered by whoever is there.

He also noted that it would take away some of what the media does.

“If everyone published on the Internet, it would kind of take away (a newspaper’s) newsworthiness,” he said.

Mason said he thinks the trend of publishing the blotter on the Internet will not take too long to catch on.

“I’m sure a lot more places are going to be doing this,” he said.

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