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From the Field
Hello...we're over here!
By Renee Groese

As a former reporter, I'm well aware of the catch phrase, "If it bleeds it leads." Now that I have left the world of reporting and am on the opposite side of the fence; where my goal is to get reporters to report on public relations information about the Redlands Police Department, I would like to rephrase it to "If it suceeds it leads."

I believe this, because in my five years of experience as a Public Information Officer of the Redlands Police Department, I can tell you that it is EXTREMELY difficult to get the Los Angeles Media Market to notice us when we've done something well. Actually, I do empathize with reporters and I can understand why they don't bend over backwards to come out to Redlands. That's Redlands. Not Redding. Redlands.

Redlands is a quaint, bedroom community rich in culture and aesthetic beauty. Many people refer to it as Mayberry. Compared to our surrounding cities, we have a low crime rate. In the few times that I have had the Los Angeles based reporters out to Redlands, they were here for crimes that offer a bizarre twist, or absolutely morbid circumstances. Here are some examples. In 1996, a man was arrested for stalking a woman for months on end. Not only did he stalk her, he stole her underwear off the clothesline. Literally. He was nick-named "the Panty Bandit" and yes, he was caught in the act.

In 1998, a most horrific homicide bewildered this town when it was learned a 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death by a 15-year-old classmate. The boy's body was then placed in a sewer near the suspect's home. Months later, the boys' bones surfaced in the sewer lines.

And last year, a restaurant heir was shot to death as he sat outside his apartment with his female companion. He was shot by people who had mistaken him for someone else.
These were more than just random killings and they offered the type of story the Los Angeles market looks for - bizarreness, intrigue, tragedy - the types of crimes that have the ability to become true crime novels. But enough about the crime.
Morbid or bizarre, we at Redlands Police have more to offer than that. We are a unique police department. The recreation, housing and senior services are all housed under the Redlands Police Department umbrella. That gives the Department plenty to talk about and a multitude of programs to offer people of all ages.

Come on, Los Angeles, take a drive to the east and check us out. You'll be glad you did. And, you won't go home bleeding!

About the Author
Renee Groese is a Public Information Officer for the Redlands Police Department.