TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- Monday, the Terre Haute police chief said was all about hearing each other out. He said he got to hear some of the public's opinions and concerns, and they got to hear his side of the situation as well.
This all comes after the NAACP called for the city to reconsider the contract with Live PD. Monday, Keen spoke about that and why he feels the show is beneficial to the city.
STATEMENT FROM THE NAACP
"On January 13, 2020, the Executive Committee of the Greater Terre Haute Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) voted unanimously to express opposition to the active presence of LIVE PD in Terre Haute on the grounds that televising individuals at unfortunate and often embarrassing moments in their lives in an attempt to exploit their hardships as entertainment takes unfair advantage of them when they are most vulnerable and most in need of privacy. Both Mayor Duke Bennett and Police Chief Shawn Keen have been called on to reconsider the current contract and practice."
Video-recording while being stopped, interrogated and/or arrested by police conveys the appearance of guilt prematurely, before individuals have had the opportunity to defend themselves in court and are, therefore, still presumed innocent.
These public displays can have a major negative impact on their jobs and job prospects as well as their present and future relations with relatives, friends, and neighbors.
Such activity antagonizes our citizens, making the public less respectful of law enforcement, and potentially encourages law enforcers to focus energy on the entertainment value of what they are doing, which is energy diverted away from effectively carrying out the demanding responsibilities of good police work.
For one, he said the show is a serious form of transparency. Not only transparency from the station to the citizens, but it's also been helpful for him to see what they might need to work on as a department.
He said the show may also have helped spark a rise in officer applicants. Keen said since February 1st THPD has gotten 167 applicants.
He said that's more than they got all together last year.
Now, Keen said there's no way to prove the bump is only because of Live PD, but he believes the show's been helpful.
"We'll make mistakes because we're human, but we're gonna learn from those mistakes," Keen said. "I got to hear a little bit more about their perspective on things. They got to hear a little bit more about mine. Hopefully, in the future, we'll communicate a little earlier. I thought we've done a pretty good job of that and I think we can continue to do that."
You might have noticed that right now Terre Haute has not been on Live PD. That is not because of the NAACP.
Keen said normally they follow 8 departments and for the past few weeks, Terre Haute has been the 9th. So, they're just waiting for the show to drop a contract which would put Terre Haute back on.