First Responders vs Media

First Responders vs Media: Blog 2

In July 2017 the Town of Fishkill Police Department was scrutinized over social media for something which was taken out of hand.  The police department received a call for a suspicious package outside the Starbucks café in the Village of Fishkill.  Information was taken from the dispatcher on duty.  The dispatcher then contacted the owner of the strip mall where Starbucks is located.  The owner was aware of the package outside the establishment and reported it not to be dangerous but instead garbage which will be taken care of in the morning.  As a courtesy, the dispatcher recontacted the caller and notified him of our findings.  The caller was not satisfied with our decision.  The caller was also advised to contact the Village of Fishkill Police for further since Starbucks is in their jurisdiction.  If an emergency call is received no matter what jurisdiction our agency will take the call and pass along information to the appropriate agency but when something is deemed non-emergency, noise complaint or lockout, the caller is provided the phone number to the local police department.  This call was considered to be non-emergency when our dispatcher was able to make contact with the owner and verify this was the same package the caller was regarding.  The caller for the suspicious package wasn’t happy when he was provided an additional phone number.  Later that evening the caller took to Facebook and wrote an entire page saying how unhelpful our agency was to his call and how “see something say something” is all bull crap.  The post received over 500 like and 40 shares.  Luckily the local news did not report on this, but our agency received a lot of bad press just from the Facebook post.  This is an example of our agency doing everything correctly and save resources to receive bad press over social media.  Now when someone isn’t happy they take to social media and vent. Unfortunately, we have to take the bad press and get a “nastygram” (email) from the supervisors.



  1. This is a very interesting point. Bad press is very hard to handle since, there are so many people out there that use the media and internet to express their feelings; even if they hurt a specific company or person.

  2. It stinks that the person did this. Especially since the agency did everything right and the package turned out to be just garbage. I don’t see how the person can say that the police weren’t helpful to his or her call when they were. I don’t see how the person feels good venting on social media knowing he or she made an agency look bad when they didn’t deserve too.

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