Stockbyte/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — A media relations course citing the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, as a “case study” is being offered for St. Louis law enforcement.
The “continuing education” course, called “Officer-Involved Shooting — You Can Win With The Media,” is scheduled for Oct. 24 through the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy.
A flier for the course touts the benefits of understanding how to deal with media when it comes to fielding questions about officer-involved shootings.
“In addition to the Ferguson case study, this fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA! It is practical training, not theoretical,” the flier reads.
The police academy holds similar media relations courses as part of its ongoing education offerings “pretty much annually,” Lt. Matt O’Niell told ABC News.
The updated course overview, however, notes a number of recent shootings, including “Managing the Media When Things Get Ugly (think Ferguson)” and ‘”Managing the Media in a Crisis (including lessons learned from the Newton, CT school shooting).”
The timing of the course and the repeated mentions of the handling of the Ferguson case come as no coincidence, O’Niell said. “It had a lot to do with it,” he said.
“We make mistakes all the time. We learn from our mistakes,” O’Niell said. “Obviously, there’s a community relations issue and this plays into it.”
The course will be taught by public relations consultant Rick Rosenthal, who is contracted out by the police academy for the day-long event that will include up to 80 participants.
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