[Vision2020] LMT Article on Rape --

Ron Force rforce at moscow.com
Tue Oct 25 14:24:39 PDT 2005

Ayres (the Chief of Police) didn't make the claim of false reports-- that
was "senior officers".

Monday's Story:
 Police chief objects to rape stories

of the Tribune

Lewiston Police Chief Paul Ayers apologized to the city council Monday night
for the impression left by Lewiston Tribune stories published Sunday on how
the department investigates rape complaints.

"The quotes that were attributed to some department members were unfortunate
and not correct, and do not reflect how we treat victims of any crimes,"
Ayers told the council.

"We stand by the accuracy of the quotes and of the story," said the
Tribune's Managing Editor, Paul M. Emerson.

"It should be noted," Emerson said, "that the story was initiated when a
spokesman for the Lewiston Police Department contacted the Tribune about the
concerns of some of its top officers over the high number of false rape
reports in the city." <snip>

...The missing component in the four stories in Sunday's Tribune was
information from victims, Ayers said. "While you were reading the article,
did you see a complaint from a victim that they were treated improperly?"

Nor were there statements from the YWCA, the prosecutor's office or the
courts that investigations were not done properly, he said.

"I would suggest that the victims and victim advocates that work with the
department members believe we do a good job."

A prosecutor was quoted as saying the police do a "fantastic job" of
investigating sex crimes, Ayers said. Officers talk with victim advocates at
the YWCA at least weekly and no one has told him they are concerned about
police treatment of victims of rape or any other crime, he said.

"When I talked with members from the YWCA this morning, they were supportive
of the officers and how we interact with them and victims."

It is unfortunate, Ayers said, that all members of the police department
"have been painted with the same broad brush of being narrow minded and
uncaring because that is not the case."

Officers handle their duties professionally and compassionately, with an
emphasis on integrity and fairness, he said.

They have received more than 2,500 hours of training in many subjects in the
past year, and if more is needed on understanding what victims experience,
it will be provided. "It is apparent that we also need to include upper
management in that training.

"We have worked very hard over the years to shake the beast from our back of
how police treat rape victims," he said. "We are not thugs that continue to
promote that the victim had it coming ...

"There is not a lot I can say about a personal quote from a member of the
department. I can just tell you that I disagree with the quotes and the
information provided does not represent the department's philosophy or

Ayers said he is willing to meet with any person or group on the subject.

"We try to do our best on everything we do," he said, "and in this case we

Ron Force    Moscow Idaho USA
rforce at moscow.com

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