iphone-headphones-560x335.jpgAnd we’re using “news” loosely.

So, several police stations send out emails on a regular basis that rundown the latest crimes in their districts, reminders about community meetings, etc. They’re pretty interesting, are always written with a bit of flair (I’ll admit a partiality to the Tenderloin one, which demonstrates a hilariously dry wit. Captain Jimenez, when you’re retired and getting that sweet ass pension, want to come work with us?

When I have time, I republish those emails in our news blog, because I think y’all might find them interesting, too. I’m not asking for applause, here, all I do is reformat them. It’s mostly for fun.

For example, we published this Taraval police station newsletter (Authro: Captain Paul C. Chignell) on the 14th, that contained the following entry:

07/13/09 8:11 am Taraval and 37th Avenue
A man and a woman were riding a municipal railway light rail vehicle when a fellow passenger approached them, ripped the earphones from the woman’s Ipod and then fled the vehicle to the street. The victim and her boyfriend followed the suspect but he threw the earphones to the ground and ran away. Officers Sam Martin, Maria Donati, Imran Shakur and Randy Ly responded to the area searching for the suspect. Officer Martin spotted the robbery suspect walking on the median near St. Ignatius High School. When the suspect saw the officer he quickened his pace and attempted to hide under parked cars. As the officer closed in on the suspect, the suspect spontaneously stated, “I didn’t take that lady’s head phones”. The suspect was captured and identified. The suspect, who lives on the 800 block of Pacific, was arrested for robbery. Case #090710946

Of course, we’re not the only folks who receive this newsletter and mine it for content: On July 15 the SF Weekly repurposed the entry into a blog post. No shame in that. That’s how blogging, and the internet works.

So, we were reading Matier and Ross Sunday morning, and noted their final entry:

The other morning, a woman was riding the Muni light rail when a guy walked up, ripped the earphones from her iPod, jumped off the train and ran down the street.

The woman and her boyfriend gave chase, and the thief threw the earphones to the ground and kept going.

When the cops arrived, Officer Sam Martin spotted the suspect walking on the median near St. Ignatius High School.

When the guy saw the cops closing in, he tried to duck under a row of parked cars.

The officer looked around, wondering where the guy disappeared to, when suddenly a voice shouted out from under one of the cars: “I didn’t take that lady’s headphones!”

Newspaper people, say that stuff about how it’s y’all doing the real shoe leather reporting, bloggers just riding your coattails, etc? Because an already-blogged (note that when the Weekly blogged it, they at least got it right!), nearly week old story? Not supporting that thesis so much.

And maybe it’s just me, but I like Captain Chignell’s version better.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Brock Keeling

    Paul Chignell is a literary SFPD genius. A++

  • Eve Batey

    You’re so right! I should actually have said that any of those newsletter writers can come work here once they’re living off their sweet ass pensions. They’re all gold!

  • Greg Dewar

    Capt. Chignell’s email dispatches are a must-read for anyone in the blogging biz.

    as for the Chronicle…sigh….