I don’t read the Fullerton Observer because I find little value in their brand of blasé government cheerleading masquerading as serious “local” journalism. However, that doesn’t mean that I can always escape their content, after all they were the rag-tag group of City Hall Sycophants who hired a consultant to help the city smear me and this very blog with ludicrous claims of “hacking”.
More recently however it was brought to my attention that they ran a story titled “Weighing the Costs of Police Officers on Campus” and it’s a good example of where the Observer fails at local journalism.
The piece is a pretty run of the mill “school to prison pipeline” story with Fullerton data dropped into what feels like a form letter. It’s got local numbers and some local meeting information but it does what the Observer often does and it just… misses. And it misses where it counts – locally.
To summarize, it’s about School Resource Officers – or Fullerton cops on campus – and what role they have and possibly shouldn’t have in student discipline. Seems like a good idea for a story, I’m probably even in agreement with the writer on quite a few things.
But how in the ever loving hell are you going to write a story about SROs in Fullerton schools and completely omit the story of former Fullerton Police Officer AND SRO Jose Paez?
That’s the dude who used his department issued Body Worn Camera (BWC) to film up a 17 year old’s skirt. He also, based on the audit of his own BWC, had sexually explicit material of students on his (maybe department issued?) cellphone. We’ve never been given an explanation of this issue or a reason to believe anything has changed at FPD to stop another Paez from perving on our children.
It’s literally the single biggest example of why SROs, locally, need oversight and to be questioned.
In case somebody at the Observer finds this story, Paez’s case is #19NM12214 over at OC Courts.
See the issue?
An entire piece on School Resource Officers that omits the best LOCAL example of the complete lack of transparency and oversight in the very program being discussed.
It’s not a shock though. The Observer has long been unwilling to point real criticisms or questions in the direction of City Hall. For such a shocking story, that we broke mind you, they’ve only ever mentioned Paez precisely twice on their site; once to regurgitate the FPD press release and once to mention in passing that the Fullerton school board avoided the topic.
Hell, the Daily Titan has covered this story more than the Observer which speaks volumes.
People ask me quite often why I’m so critical of government and while there are a few answers to that question, one answer would certainly be because somebody has to be critical when the fourth estate is more interested in acting like the fifth column.