Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Community Comment: HBG communications director reacts to Burg blog post, defends outreach effort.

Editor’s Note: Harrisburg Communications Director Joyce Davis issued the response below to a blog post published yesterday by TheBurg’s city reporter Lizzy Hardison, “Say What You Mean.” The blog concerned the city’s communication of a “community debriefing” at Hamilton Health Center on Tuesday night, specifically about whether the general public was permitted to attend the event, which addressed recent police-involved shootings. This response originally was an email sent this morning to TheBurg from Davis. She said that this email should be used as her official response. To better understand the context, please read the original blog post. TheBurg welcomes responses to our stories.

Joyce Davis’ response:

You had some inaccuracies in your blog today that I hope you will correct. 

First,  your news colleagues saw the information I  posted information about the community meeting on Next Door and in other Social Media.  The information clearly explained the nature of the meeting and that the media would not be allowed to participate. 

While you indicated we had no direct contact with the media, that is incorrect. I was in direct contact with several news outlets and spoke directly to those who called, including Porcha Johnson, Logan Wilson and Mark Hall.  In fact, Mark had been assigned to go to the meeting, but after speaking to me, explained to his editors that he should not go. Logan talked to me several times about the event. 

Again, these good reporters saw the information I posted on social media and took time to contact me to discuss.  I’m not sure why you didn’t see it, but I would suggest you follow the city’s on Twitter, Next Door and on its Facebook page and that you set up alerts so that you know when things are posted.

Here’s what was posted on social media and that your colleagues distributed to the public,

(I have placed in bold the pertinent information about the event and in red the alert to the news media):


Message from the Harrisburg Bureau of Police

Director of Communications Joyce Davis from City of Harrisburg · 5d ago

In the recent weeks, residents of the area of 17th Street, Mulberry Street, and the surrounding community have been witness to disturbing incidents. The Bureau of Police has invited the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team to Harrisburg.

The Keystone Crisis Intervention Team is a state crisis team that responds to crime related events to support crime victims, witnesses and communities in the recovery of an incident. The Bureau of Police of the City of Harrisburg invites you to a community gathering on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 6 pm at the Hamilton Health Center located at 110 South 17th Street.

The purpose of the meeting is to talk about reactions and responses to what has happened in your community. It is to support you and your neighborhood. It is not to investigate, review, or assess the events that have taken place. In addition, a resource table and staff members from several agencies will be there to offer resources. 

Although the media may know about the gathering, they will not be permitted to participate. 

We welcome your attendance.

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