How do we tell our story? What is the best way to communicate with our employees...or with the public? These are questions that I have been struggling with lately.
Some suggest our story can be told through social media platforms. The WPS has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more recently TikTok. Each of these platforms has some benefits, but they also have its limitations. Too many of them encourage and promote a toxic environment. (Hello Twitter Mob).
There was a time when traditional/legacy media could be relied upon to tell a balanced story. Sure, they could ask tough questions, but at the end of the day, they usually portrayed stories involving the police fairly. I am not so sure about that anymore. I have observed an ideological shift by some media outlets that seems intent on “othering” the police. There is a harshness about reporting on police that too often serves to undermine trust and confidence in policing. Police integrity has become the story, rather than the work we actually do.
Ironically, we are in good company as the media itself is experiencing a steady erosion of its own trust and confidence. Need evidence? Look no further than the scores of experienced and competent journalists and writers who have left good jobs rather than go along with these ideological shifts. Many have turned to platforms like Substack that allow them to tell their stories honestly and with integrity.
This got me thinking. Why can’t we use Substack in the same way to tell our story? Well, maybe we can. Welcome to Tried and True with the Winnipeg Police. I think it is worth a try.
-Chief Danny Smyth