Letter From the Chief,
It is with sadness that this statement has to be made. I am aware of a recent article in our local press regarding an active case, and the release of physical information pertaining to that case. This goes beyond vocal statements, initial updates, and the public's right to know, and should not have been shared.
It is heartbreaking to know that anyone would have made such a decision at this time. The Pine Bluff Police Department, in its official capacity, does not make any part of a physical case file, outside of an initial incident report and the information it contains, available for publication.
It is our belief that the Director of the Metropolitan Emergency Communication Association (MECA) shares our position, and also would not have made this information available. We are all aware of the protocols surrounding physical evidence; to include emergency dispatch recordings.
Public agencies must adhere to the law requiring us to secure personally identifiable information and prevent unwarranted invasions of privacy. Documents and recordings containing such information must be redacted carefully before releasing. This is proper protocol, and it is clear that the information that was published did not come through the proper channels, and did not follow that protocol.
This department would never harm the Taggart family, and we want them all to know that we were not involved with the release or publication of this sensitive, gut-wrenching piece of evidence. We pray healing over you all as you navigate this tragedy. This family, as well as any other, deserves our professional and personal support.
The Pine Bluff Police Department has made all of the statements we intend to make regarding this case, both verbal and written. We have done our duty to inform the public, we have cleared up the spurious theories as best we can, and our dedication is to this family. There will be no further official statements regarding the matter.
Chief of Police- Denise D. Richardson