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Secretive Police in Hutchinson, Ks

First of all let me tell you this...

I am biased as hell when it comes to the Police. My Dad has been in Law Enforcement since Jesus was around (sorry Dad just kidding) and he is my hero and a hero in this town because he has spent most of his waking hours for the last almost 40 years (crap you are kinda old Dad) making sure bad guys did as little damage as possible in Hutchinson and Reno County.

If you come at me with some screwed up I hate the police attitude, it won't get you very far. Even worse is the BS when the media/or regular a Joe gets involved in telling Law Enforcement how to do their job.

Here's the link that set me off.... Go read it and come back for my tirade.

First off, my Dad has no idea I am writing about this and I haven't discussed it with him. So don't go there. He has the sense to let these morons just do their thing and let it roll of his back...He's a older wiser man than me.

The article says the Law Dogs are "doing the public a dangerous disservice" ???? By spending every waking hour for beans of a salary trying to do everything they can to catch this jack-ass? The person who wrote this article... (who by the way is being awfully secretive on the Hutch News website, maybe if we knew their name we could stop them from writing before they struck again.) has no clue what info the Police/Sheriffs should give up or not. I know for a fact that both the Hutch Police and Reno County sheriffs have done a relatively good job over the years of cooperating with journalists.

Do Law enforcements officers make mistakes?? Certainly, they are human and fair game when they do. Are some of the folks world wide in Law enforcement just bad people? Yep, bad people in every line of work in the world.

I just don't get coming out with wide sweeping editorials stating "but no matter how many details the public receives, there is always information that is known only to the victim, the suspect and the people investigating the crime." The top secret editor here doesn't know that, do they? No they don't. The detectives do since that's their job right?

Again if they screw up or do something wrong. they are fair game, no Blue Curtain, cause the world just can't handle that anymore. But don't come out with secret editorials blasting them for doing their job in a different way then works out good for you to sell news paper subscriptions.

These guys deserve the the benefit of the doubt... They go out every night, underpaid and strap a gun on saying "I am gonna do everything I can to make sure you sleep good tonight."

That's enough for me to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Don't come back with "They aren't bove the law kid!!" B.S. I just freaking said if the screw up they are fair game. Nobody screwed up here.

We had a new submission to the logo contest. Thanks Josh his submission has been added to the slideshow in right sidebar.

The spider bite is getting a little worse, Dr Appt. tomorrow.

And of course the Presidential Discussion is going wonderfully. Click here.

Oh yeah Dwight Jurgens doesn't like !

Here's my my thoughts on Dwight Jurgens.


  1. Cody,

    Here is my luch time response. While I hold tons of respect for your Dad, I have to disagree (shocker!) with your self described “tirade.” You state that “these guys deserve the benefit of the doubt.” I hear you, but all the Editor is saying is that he or she thinks some more details should be released in a particular case. The Editor notes that the latitude in the law “gives authorities the flexibility to weigh each case individually and balance the public's right to know against the need to withhold investigative details” but reaches a different conclusion, that in this case “the public's right to information far outweighs investigators' desire to keep every scrap of information in their case files.” While you are willing to give the investigators the benefit of the doubt in this case, the Editor here is not.

    Law enforcement entities are public institutions, beholden to the people and the public trust. Law enforcement and prosecutorial tactics, strategies and actions (not just their mistakes) are all fair game for public scrutiny and comment. Of course, it is important to allow law enforcement discretion and latitude regarding how to handle an investigation. They simply must be prepared to face the public regarding there decisions if called on there strategy. As we all know, law enforcement is not infallible and they hold a tremendous amount of power. I appreciate and feel better knowing that there are public watchdogs, newspapers, etc. keeping an eye on all public activities, including the police. Sunshine on there actions help keeps all government activities above board and forces them to make well reasoned decisions.

  2. Dave,

    The editor throws around some very general terms. He/she does mention this case in particular but then goes on to make broad statements such as "Often, police claim" . These are the ones that urk me.

    Again let me interject I am all for the watch dog system as well. I am probably am leaning the opposite way as you. Meaning I may sway towards the side of the Police and you may sway towards the side of the Watchdogs. Which is fine we balance each other well.

    Back to the point. If this whole article had been about specifics surrounding this case I would have had less issue with it. I am not gonna say "no issue" cause... I lean towards the side of the Police! But way less issue.

    Statements like "Police and prosecutors have a natural tendency to want to hold back as many details as possible about a big crime." are just as stereotypical as saying "newspaper reporters have a natural tendency to take the facts from a case and try to ruin the investigation by publishing all the details."

    Is it not possible that plice and prosecutors have a natural tendency to want to hold back exactly as much detail as the should. Just like reporters have a natural tendency to want to report everything possible without helping criminals go free. It's the wording in an attempt to get a rise out of people that bothers me.

    If this editorial had been poised as questions, asking for explanations instead of a flat out assessment that the Police had "done a dangerous disservice..." Two things may have happened? Maybe not but maybe?

    1. Once the case was over or the DA and detectives deemed it was ok someone could have/should have answered the questions. In specifics about this case. If they couldn't/wouldn't ... Fricking go after 'em. Tear them up, they should have someone who does answer these questions when the time is right.

    2. Questions about it...(Maybe to late for this but I hope not) Questions about it should warrant a less confrontational approach/response from the police to the whole thing. If the news had written this exact column with specific questions laid out demanding answers from a Law Enforcement PR person, could it have led to some sort of something actually happening?? Instead of the Cops sitting in the Law Enforcement center cussing the News and the News sitting (about 100 feet away at their offices cussing cops. I don't know, probably too idealistic???

    I don't have all the facts, so if I am off base, sorry just what it looks like from the outside looking in.

  3. 45-217

    Criminal investigation records" means records of an investigatory agency or criminal justice agency as defined by K.S.A. 22-4701 and amendments thereto, compiled in the process of preventing, detecting or investigating violations of criminal law, but does not include police blotter entries, court records, rosters of inmates of jails or other correctional or detention facilities or records pertaining to violations of any traffic law other than vehicular homicide as defined by K.S.A. 21-3405 and amendments thereto.

  4. Dang Cody! That is one serious spider bite! I already have a "massive" spider phobia, so now that I've got that picture embedded in my mind, thanks for making my phobia worse! Seriously though, I do hope you're alright! Let us know...

  5. My thanks to Mr. Underhill who posted the details and reference to K.S.A. 22-4701.

    I googled and read the statute and then followed the trail to K.S.A. 22-4705.

    You can read 22-4705 here:

    The short version is the person who wrote the editorial is very entitled to their opinion but that's all it is - their opinion.

    I'll add that I believe they are not in the position of deciding what is harmful to the public regarding information about the case though I'm guessing they'd like to be.

    I also googled Pearl's name and Buhler and came up with a whole list of media outlets which have covered her murder as well as the information that a task force has been formed for further investigation of her case and possible connected cases.

    I'll give this person the benefit of the doubt and assume they did not know the story has been covered on many outlets and that the information included a wider investigation in progress.

    I do understand the frustration of hoping for information that will restore your personal sense of well-being after a crime near you shakes up your feelings of personal security. Vulnerability often exerts itself in ways that are not typical of the overall person. could be someone who just believes the public has a right to know everything. In which case, my answer would be the following. The purpose of law enforcement is not to make headlines. Their purpose is to investigate and bring criminals to the court system. They are doing their job.

    I'm glad your on your way to the doctor Cody. Spider bites can be very nasty.

  6. Cody I agree with you on this 100 percent. No one at the Hutchinson News has any idea what it takes to run a police investigation. They also have, as you stated, no idea what information is being withheld, and for what reasons.

    I know it shocks some people to hear this, and Dave is probably one of them, but police do not hold information because we like to be secretive, like the power, or because we want to keep the public in the dark. Information is withheld for a lot of good reasons, not the least of which is to protect the integrity of the case.

    Police do release information when it will help protect the public from further harm, or when it will help them find a suspect. But to just release any information, without being able to verify it or weigh the consequences it will have on the case and on the public, is dangerous and reckless, and would cause the public, led by the Hutch News, to lose faith in the police. It would also open the case up in court to being shredded by a defense attorney.

    While Dave is right that law enforcement should be prepared to face the public, I would remind Dave that law enforcement is always prepared to face the public, and faces the pubnlic daily, but the most important thing that law enforcement must do in a case like this is to work the case in the best way possible and to find the person that committed these crimes so they can keep the public safe. The last thing the police should be doing is worrying about what the Hutch News thinks.

    I have been all over this country for law enforcement training, and I can tell you that Hutch PD and the Reno County Sheriff's Dept are extrmemely open with the media; more so than most departments. The Hutch News in this case is more concerned with finding ways to be critical and generate more headlines than they are with public safety. They do not mention in this editorial all the measures that are being taken right now by these departments to protect the elderly in the community. They do not mention how they are communicating with area rest homes and the security that is being provided by HPD and the RNSO.

    Cody you are right when you say that the investigators deserve the benefit of the doubt in this case. HPD has earned this through the exceptional work it's officers have done in the past on major investigations, and by the open and honest way HPD has communicated with them in the last 16 years under the current administration.

    It's too bad the Hutchinson News instead chose to spin this story in a negative way, instead of focusing on all that is being done to protect the public and solve this case. But then again, that would have gotten in the way of a good headline.

  7. What did the policeman say to his belly button?
    You're under a vest!

  8. I certainly am not qualified, nor pretend to be qualified, to make an assessment as to what information should or shouldn't be released to the media. But what I do know is good character and good people. I am quite familiar with Cody's father as well as other top ranked members of the H.P.D. I definitely side with Cody on this one. These people are responsible, honest, intellegent, hard working people who are consistently making decisions that keep the best interest of this community at heart. What I mean is they are going to release as much information as they can without hurting their case. Each case is different. Leave it to some liberal police basher to question them in this case and get the community thinking negatively.

    These "watchdogs" are ongoing problem. I agree that if they performed their job as prescribed they have a big benefit. However, it seems to me that they abuse their positions in many cases (and create more of a problem than what they are worth.

    How bout getting behind the "good guys" instead of questioning their every move.

    Like Cody mentioned in his original article, every profession has some cheats, nitwits, etc., but let's at least give the Hutch Police Dept. the benefit of the doubt.

  9. An arrest was made by the HPD/RNSO Joint Task Force in this case yesterday.

    Turns out that these guys do know what they are doing. Once again the Hutch News comes out looking stupid and irrelevant in a big case/story.

    Nice work by the police on this case, I'll be interested to watch how this plays out in the courts now.

  10. I think we are all glad that an arrest was made in this case. I hope they got their man. Once it goes to trial and he is convicted then we will know if it was a succesfull investigation.

    I am not sure how the arrest makes the hutch news look foolish. The arrest was expected. We expect the police to investigate and arrest criminals. I think what the news was trying to emphasize was the desire to have more info, to provide additional public safety. I will never know if a composite sketch put out to the public for example, would have hurt the investigation. I do not know if a height/weight/hair color description would have set back the arrest. But I do know that I personally would rather have more information than less. I am not saying the way it was handled was wrong. I am just telling my own personal opinion. If people were being killed in carey park after midnight at the zoo with the a club, I would like to know that so I could avoid the zoo after midnight, and if I saw someone with a club, well.......

    But what do I know, I thought it was Miss Scarlett in the hall with the revolver.

  11. The problem with that Mr Underhill is that they did give you the information that a crime was commited and how to protect yourself. You couldn't watch a news program or read the paper for several days after Pearl was attacked and not see safty checklists and how to keep yourself protected. I for one don't expect the "right" to know about every little piece of information about a crime that was committed. I have faith that if there is something that the public needs to know then the PD will tell us, if not its not my business.

  12. Mr. Underhill,

    I'm not clear why you are debating the point of increased public safety while at the same time acknowledging that an arrest was expected.

    IMHO, the two negate each other.

    I seriously hate to open the topic of media competition and how I've heard expressed too many times, IMHO, the fascination with murderers and the desire for some to get close enough to "figure them out".

    But it does exist. We have evidence of it all around us. National media coverage of this murder or that murder. Armchair sleuths who guess on the outcome as if it's a sporting event. We have tv programming that never seems to end based on the same armchair fascination with murderers.

    I've debated against it for years but it's a cultural tide that has found it's devout following.

    A following that law enforcement now has to deal with in addition to solving the case, protecting the criminals rights, working within the criminal justice system and somehow, if at all possible, protecting the victim's family along the way.

    The burdens upon those who do some of the hardest work around are many.

    As always, I pull for those who try to make a difference in a world of hard choices. Law enforcement has always had my respect.

    In many cases, the media has not.

  13. In response to Karen. I tend to agree with you. But you would have to admit just because "you" do not want the right to information, it should not preclude others from having that right. I personally did not have to much cause for concern. I did not fit the profile. Maybe your lack of interest in the details stems from the same fact. Or maybe, like Cody and Matt, perhaps you have ties to law enforcement which allow for additional insight that the general public may not receive. In which case it would be easy to say you would not require additional info, if you could just talk to a police officer friend, father, or if you happen to be an officer yourself. Regardless, I do not have any close relatives or associates who fit the profile.

    Now then, if the crime, was a crime against children. I, myself, would like to have as much info as possible. Without the info would I shirk my responsibilities as a parent. NO! With the info, would I allow my children to wander the streets, safe in knowing what color his hair is? NO!

    I just think, in my opinion, for myself, I would prefer to know more, rather than less in any situation.

  14. With regards to Jolene:

    I am not a very intelligent person, so I am not 100% sure I followed your post.

    Forgive my ignorance in advance.

    How is it that increased public safety, and my expectation of the police to do their job(which they did aptly), cancel each other out?
    I am not being facetious, I just don't see the correlation. Did I mention I am not smart?

    Next, I hope you did not confuse my interest in information when it may pertain to my own circumstances, with my desire to play scooby doo and to ride in the mystery machine. Nothing could be further from the truth for "me".

    I fear this is becoming a media vs. law enforcement blog. For me it is not. I appreciate the law enforcement community and what they do. I also appreciate the media and what they do. Both are not without fault. I hope just because I read a paper, it does not come across that I am anti-police. I choose not to pick a side and abandon the other. They both serve a very useful purpose.

  15. Mr Underhill...

    I will not let it become a media vs. law enforcement blog. Both serve a vital role and both (around here) really do a pretty good job of it.

    If I had my way...

    Editorials would be removed from newspapers. Especially now that blogs have arrived. I often have serious issue with Newspaper Editors and the opinion columns they write... because they often stand behind the freedom of press issue and tie it into news articles like the two are interchangeable.

    Editorials are not protected by freedom of the press, imho....

    They are protected by freedom of speech and protected just as much. But the mixture of editorial and news has lead to a greatly uninformed and biased world in many a case.

    People read an opinion piece in a newspaper and assume it is more than just an opinion...because it's in a newspaper. Intentional or not it is a bad system.

    Ok that being said.. I still don't want this to be a bash the media in general website. I hate that even more than I hate opinion pieces scattered throughout newspapers.

    I wrote this piece because I have issue with the news telling the police how to do their job.

    1. They don't freaking now how to be cops.

    2. It is stuff like this that lead to a mindset change in the public's perception of law enforcement. Remember a time when the majority of people respected Law Enforcement officials. The guys wearing the badge are still the same underpaid overworked guys wearing guns and protecting us from bad guys.

    The media blows up the bad cop image in way that has affects public perception. Again obviously my opinion.

    I have no problem with news stories of bad cops or cops doing bad things....Thats the newspapers job and I say cops should be held to a higher standard.

    Opinion pieces criticizing good cops for doing their job of catching a killer and in fact telling them how the should be doing that job?????

    That is B.S. when printed on the same piece paper as a news source.

    Thats how I see it.

    Sorry so long.

  16. Mr. Underhill,

    I think it would be unusual for the person who so kindly provided this thread with the Kansas statue for the responsibilities of law enforement to the media to not also be intelligent. : )

    People generally feel that public safety has been compromised when law enforcement is not able to make an arrest after a reasonable length of time has passed since the crime was committed.

    It's unusual, IMHO, to feel a degree of worry commensurate with speaking against the judgment of local law enforcement in a public forum within a few days of a task force being formed.

    It's even more unusual, IMHO, to have someone express the need for increased public safety while acknowledging they felt that an arrest was expected.

    The first suggests law enforcement has poor judgment and is not doing their job. The second acknowledges law enforcement, as expected, did their job.

    IMHO, they are contradictory.

    I wasn't suggesting you were Scooby Doo, as much as I like the dude.

    I was putting forth the possibility that the media, in general and not specific to the Hutch News or whoever wrote the editorial being discussed may well have almost tasted a "scoop" that would give them national exposure, even if for the blink of an eye.

    Years ago I worked at the Topeka Capital-Journal and at the corporate offices of Stauffer Communications (which has now passed into corporation history I think). They owned 30 odd newspapers and broadcast companies in a number of states at the time I worked for them.

    I did payroll, benefits administration, corporate administrative reporting.

    IMHO, I know too much about the agendas of the broadcast and print media.

    Without a doubt, the free media is a vital component of all of our lives.

    Without a doubt, it's an agenda driven structure.

  17. Mr Underhill-
    No I do not have direct contacts in law enforcement. But I do have faith in our police department and the job that they do. Do you really want the police department to release information that could be critical to the investigation? IMHO--unless you are an officer that is assigned to that case then no-you do not need to know more than is released to the public. This was a horrible crime, and as someone who works with the elderly on a daily basis you can trust me when I say I would see your point of view if I thought that information was not provided to keep others safe. How much is enough? Do you really need to know exactly what happend? Is it fair to the family and friends of the victims that the last public memory of their loved ones is the details of a violent act?? As far a crimes against children--why is it that we need to wait until something bad happens to a child to be vigilent parents? Is there something specific that you are referring to?


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