Why We Don’t Post Names in the Police Log

Occasionally, we are asked why we don’t post the names of those arrested in our police log. There are two reasons. First, we post a lot of arrests for relatively minor offenses that we do not have the bandwidth to follow through the judicial process. So, if someone is arrested for driving with a suspended license or shoplifting or even drinking while driving and the charge or charges get dropped or dismissed or the person is proven innocent, the only time we would have reported on it would be to say they had been arrested.

Which leads to the second reason. Online reports live forever. Even if we were to change every mention of an arrest to include what happened after the arrest, the original story with the arrest lives on in the internet … probably forever. So, EG News made the decision – one that other publications are coming to as well – to avoid using names except in the case of an egregious crime or one involving a public official. We will follow those cases through the judicial process. 

More than anything, the police log is meant as a week-to-week picture of our town as seen from the vantage of the EGPD, so we understand what is happening (where the trouble spots might be, for instance) and also what the police are doing, since the taxpayers of East Greenwich pay their salaries. We appreciate the question, however, since it helps us revisit why we do what we do. 

Do you have questions? Email them to [email protected].

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