Posted by David Oates 3 years ago


San Diego's received widespread national attention recently for a sadistic killer who had critically injured and murdered several homeless individuals living in the city streets. Shocking, senseless and scary are the descriptors that immediately come to mind. For days, the police were unable to stop the perpetrator and their indiscriminate, heinous acts.

This type of scene can bring about much angst, particularly when law enforcement has been largely stumped at catching the killer. So what’s the San Diego Police Department to do? Well, thanks to Chief Shelly Zimmerman and Mayor Kevin Faulconer, they called the right play and made this evil person a "star".

Both local officials held a press conference outlining the number of resources being marshaled to catch this killer. Chief Zimmerman even went so far as to show a male in a captured image from a security camera and claimed that this person was responsible for the attacks on the four homeless individuals. In doing so, they branded this individual “Public Enemy Number One” in America’s Finest City, and wound up catching the suspect within 24 hours.

Now some will object to this tactic, feeling that our leaders gave this person 15 minutes of fame that would only fuel the individual’s desire to continue his rein of terror. The reality was quite the opposite. Instead, Mayor Faulconer and Chief Zimmerman galvanized a city of 1.3 million to keep their eyes and ears open for this criminal. They have created the sense of urgency as well as support for their efforts. Now it appears the alleged murder is being brought to justice, in part because San Diego police and local elected officials got together to market this killer as a societal menace.

In a day and age where police and its citizens in other major metropolitan areas appear to be at deadly odds, San Diego government officials showed what could be done with the right communication strategy to the public. Well done, SDPD!

July 12 Update - Local news sources reporte that SDPD released the suspect without charges due to insufficient evidence.


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