Three articles by Administration of Justice Studies faculty published

Liz (Bootsie) Martínez R. MESA, Arizona – Oct. 2, 2019 -- Mesa Community College Administration of Justice Studies faculty member Liz (Bootsie) Martínez R. is the author of three articles pertaining to police media relations appearing in law enforcement publications.

Effective Police-Media Relations is in the August 2019 International Association of Chiefs of Police's "Police Chief" magazine; Media Coverage: When It Doesn’t Work Well… and When It Does is published online at; and Who Causes Trouble? appears online at

Martínez, who spent a career as a journalist covering law enforcement and security issues and is a former senior investigator for a New York State agency, said the articles address how law enforcement agencies can work effectively with the media, as well as why it has become socially acceptable to bash the police. She cites the recent negative incidents of a customer who felt uncomfortable seeing six uniformed officers drinking coffee in a Starbucks in Tempe, as well as community members who repeatedly dumped buckets of water on police officers in New York City.

Law enforcement agencies can use social as well as mainstream media to communicate important and positive information to the community, and partner with media outlets as a way to combat negative feelings, according to Martínez.

She quotes Detective Greg Bacon of the Tempe Police Department’s Media Relations Unit and Sergeant Detective Squad Supervisor Bill Decker (Ret.) of the New York Police Department, among others.

“Negative messages and media stories are always quicker to gain the spotlight than the positive ones,” Martínez said. “An effective way to combat anti-police feeling is to work with media outlets, engage on social media and maintain good relationships with reporters.”

Martínez states that law enforcement agencies and the media have a symbiotic relationship, with both entities depending on each other.

“The key for law enforcement is to be genuine about what information is available and what cannot be released at that time,” Martínez said. “Police agencies need to develop positive relationships with reporters and interact with the media on a respectful, person-to-person basis.”

She adds, "At Mesa Community College, we teach our students to look at crime and officer-involved incidents from multiple points of view. Each participant in an incident sees it in his or her own way, but many things converge in an incident, and it's important to look at all sides to determine why and how police-community interactions play out."

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892 or

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Source Details

Publication Date: 
Saturday, October 19, 2019