HUNTERSVILLE – Recently, Huntersville became a topic of media interest after then-Town Manager Gerry Vincent was arrested by Huntersville police and later resigned during a specially called town board meeting.
While the arrest made headlines both in print and on television pretty quickly after the Sunday night charge, there was one important place it was missing – the next day’s Huntersville arrest logs.
When asked why it wasn’t there, the response was that a report would be sent later. While that’s true, the full report was emailed to us from the police department the day after Vincent’s resignation, there was still a question of why his name didn’t appear on the summary arrest log that is emailed by the police department daily. The response the Herald Citizen received from a representative of the police department was “It was redacted from the morning report sent out until Town officials could speak with the Town attorney due to the circumstances.”
The concern is what happens when people, reporters or otherwise, don’t know about something to ask for the official report. Would it just have been swept under the rug? It calls into question what other “circumstances” are there where a name is left off the list. Gerry Vincent was arrested like any other person believed to have committed a crime. He just happened to work for the town at the time.
The Herald Citizen is pretty open about its policy for printing crime, and there are a few guidelines we have about what makes it in the paper and what doesn’t.
As much as people don’t like to see their name in print in that manner, the point is so people are aware of crimes and incidents happening in their neighborhood. Crime reports are typed based on what is submitted to us by our towns’ respective police departments.
There are things we won’t print. It’s not our policy to print suicides or rapes. Victims’ names rarely have a place in the paper. And anyone younger than 18 who isn’t charged with a felony gets a pass. If we have space constraints, those arrested for failure to appear in court or a warrant for arrest as their only charge may also get cut from that week’s crime report.
Otherwise, even if you offer to make a donation to the paper – as one upset mother once tried to to do – it is likely your name will appear in the crime report if arrested.
But it doesn’t have to stay there forever. When a person’s case is dismissed or he or she is found not guilty, simply send us the court documents saying so, and we’ll be happy to take the arrest off of the website.