Police Chief Visits News Reporting Class

Posted on 2/29/2016 7:31:11 AM

Police chief William SuttonIndiana borough police chief William Sutton visited the JRNL 328 News Reporting class taught by David Loomis on Wednesday, February 24, to discuss the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law and the state’s Criminal History Record Information Act.

The statutes govern what and how police information can be released to the public.

The chief’s discussion coincided with the student reporters’ work on a cops-and-courts story-writing assignment that combines reporting based on official documents, on human sources, and on observation and description.  JRNL 328 is taught in the Journalism and Public Relations Department.

Sutton told students that expungements—the legal process by which people found guilty of first-time infractions can erase all official records of their cases by appealing to local courts—had multiplied during his 15 years on the job in Indiana and had begun to adversely affect law enforcement.

“It’s a huge, huge problem,” Sutton said. “It’s frustrating. Courts hand out expungements like they are candy.”

Students peppered Sutton with questions during and after the class.