…works for the Police Department? Â
I am trying to get some information from the City of New Haven. Â Poking around their website earlier today, I couldn’t find any listing or information about their Public Information Officer (PIO). Â So, noticing their nice looking website and its “Action Center”, I decided to try to find an answer using this resource. Â I submitted the following question to the New Haven’s Mayors Office:
I am looking for contact information for the New Haven Public Information Officer or equivalent. Thank you!
Imagine my surprise when I received the following response:
The status of the Action Item you submitted has been updated.
Thank you for your submission. Your information has beenÂ forwarded to the Police Department for review andÂ response.
New Haven Mayor’s Office
Imagine being a citizen and this is the first time you are trying to interact with your government and your question about the PIO gets referred to the Police Department!
The reaction I’ve received from friends and family when I’ve told them about some of my information requests to the City have varied from outright amusement to downright fear that something will happen to me. Â The responses range from, “Are you sure that’s a good idea to go poking around?” Â To, “Aren’t you afraid of being audited?” Â I think this speaks volumes about our citizens view of our government. Â Â That view being that we aren’t to ask or challenge our government. Â I’m here to tell you that it is OK to make inquiries of our government without fear of consequences or retribution. Â If more people were to get involved and challenge and ask questions, we might not be facing some of the issues we are.
In all fairness, it’s probably a misunderstanding. Â Ms. Smith probably saw “Officer” and thought it was something for the Police Department. Â I was tempted to immediately make a phone call, but I’m going to give this a day or two and see how it plays out. Â Besides, the information I’m looking for is not going anywhere soon!