Uncut: McKinney police set example in mistake

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by JOHN McCAA

Bio | Email | Follow: @johnmccaa

WFAA

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 9:22 PM

In admitting an error, the McKinney Police Department set an example for other public officials when it comes to being upfront about mistakes.

It’s this week’s Uncut commentary.

Last February, two instructors at a McKinney dance studio reported to police their belief that sexual offenses involving children had taken place. They were looking for guidance on what to do next. 

Despite an extensive discussion with police that night, leaving long follow up phone messages the next day and reporting their concerns to Child Protective Services, the alleged assailant in the case, Dr. David Russell, was not picked up until last month.

Somehow the ball was dropped in the investigation. Police only checked on the February complaints after News 8's Craig Civale started asking about them.

Rather than stonewall and hide what happened, the department has launched an investigation, apologized to the victim for the delay in the inquiry and re-affirmed a pledge to the people of McKinney that its officers are dedicated to their safety.

That may not sound like much, but when’s the last time you heard a politician or public figure apologize for being wrong, or for backing a policy that clearly failed?

They always find some way to blame political opponents, or the powerless, or the media.           

They don’t have all the answers to what happened yet in McKinney, and they‘re still preparing their case against Dr. Russell. He insists he is not guilty.

But the fact that they admit making an error in not following up on the original complaint, and are putting in place procedures to make sure it doesn’t happen again, puts them more than a few steps ahead of just about every other government agency.

Those are my thoughts, tell me yours at jmccaa@wfaa.com.

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