The Los Angeles Police Department launched its official blog with a burst of opinion (a rebuttal to an editorial in the Daily News) and a welcome message from Chief William Bratton. Can't tell yet whether it will be heavy on department flakkery and police politics or lean toward giving us the straight news, but it's a good step anyway. Here's some of how the chief puts it:
Our online journal is an interactive tool that we use to deliver real-time, unfiltered information. We invite you to take a look inside the Department to learn more about the men and women in blue who have sworn to protect and to serve you.
By using this Blog, the LAPD hopes to maintain an open dialogue with the communities we serve and those who have an interest in the men and women of this organization. We encourage you to express your opinions about current events through respectful and insightful discussion. We reserve the right to refuse to post those comments that contain inappropriate language and/or material. In the near future, we intend to expand our Blogging capabilities to all 19 Area Stations.
No comments yet, since the public launch is Friday. The story in Friday's Times says Bratton intends to use the blog to take on critics:
"I see the blog, which is first and foremost a department blog, as an opportunity to communicate with the public and educate them about what we are doing at the LAPD," Bratton said Thursday. "But I also see it as an opportunity for me to respond to those issues where I feel the department is being misrepresented."
Here's the RSS feed link. Apparently Brian Humphrey of the LAFD media relations staff and blog (and a blog by the private Media Resources Group) has been helping the department figure out how to join the new media era. Bratton also spent a couple of hours schmoozing among media types and bloggers such as Mickey Kaus, Patterico, Cathy Seipp and the LAT's Bob Sipchen at the last monthly gathering of Scott Kaufer's group at Yamashiro.