But he says sometimes he can’t release a lot of information to the news media.
Todd Wivell, Public Information Officer, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Frederick, Md (KM) You sometimes see them on television, or hear them on the radio; or they’re quoted in local newspapers. We’re talking about public information officers who are usually at the scene of incidents such as fires, car crashes and shootings to brief reporters. One of those PIO’s is Todd Wivell, a spokesman for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
In this is era of the 24-hour news cycle, Wivell says he tries to be accurate when giving out information to the news media and the public. “Being transparent, being given the most clear and concise information is one of the staples that I live by,” he says.
During a recent appearance on WFMD’s “Four-State Focus,” Wivell says sometimes he can’t release all the information he knows about an incident. “There’s a lot of times where I do know a lot of more information but I just can’t put it out because it would hinder the investigation; it could cause a problem within the community; it would come back on the Sheriff’s Office where ‘you guys said this but really, it was that,’” he says.
This is especially true with numbers. . “And one of my biggest things that I’ve learned in my journalism place when I’m putting out numbers, I want to make sure those numbers are right. So I don’t ever put out numbers till I know for a tact they’re right,” says Wivell.
“I put out what I can put out to the public as fast as I can to give out as much information as I can,” he continues. “Without hindering the investigation or hurting anyone or jeopardizing any deputy or detective or anything like that.”
On another topic, Wivell said crime has been on a downward trend in Frederick County for the past eight years. “Now that doesn’t mean every stat drops. Some will rise and some will drop. But overall, the bottom line percentage is that we are dropping,” he says.
By Kevin McManus