Should police drop daily news conferences on the Celis search?

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Should police drop daily news conferences on the Celis search?

CREATED May 1, 2012

Reporter: Kevin Keen

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - During the first days of the search for six-year-old Isabel Celis, Tucson police gave updates to the media and public every two hours. Last week, the number of news conferences was cut because the department has fewer timely developments and less information it wanted to share. Tuesday, TPD suggested eliminating the briefings all together.

“There is a lot of information, but unfortunately, we're not able to share that with you because it is of a sensitive nature,” Lt. Fabian Pacheco said during the Tuesday media update. That’s led to daily media briefings, like Tuesday’s, in which TPD reported little new information.

“I don't want to come up here and sound like a broken record,” Pacheco said, suggesting TPD send updates to media outlets by email from now on--unless there are major developments. He said the department has not made a decision either way.

“Your input is valuable to us,” the lieutenant told reporters. “If you see the need in continuing these briefings, absolutely. We'll do them. Certainly, if the community wants to stay informed, we'll continue to do it that way.”

What does the community think? 9 On Your Side headed to the Isabel volunteer command post near Broadway and Craycroft.

“I think the police and the media should come out at least once a day,” said Isa supporter Matthew Vick. He’s been a volunteer since day one and said parents everywhere would want their missing child to stay in the spotlight.


Edna Kersey agreed. She stays on top of every update from police, but admits the lack of new details worries her--although she understands police can't say everything.


“Do you still want to hear what you can?” 9 On Your Side reporter Kevin Keen asked Kersey.”I want to hear what I can, but I can understand they're doing their job and they know what we should know and what we shouldn't know about it,” she answered. “I feel like a lot of it is putting her in jeopardy, maybe, so they're not telling us.”


On 9 On Your Side Facebook page, Jennifer Thorp weighed in: "Is that where it starts!? First the updates then what!? The searches? This little girl is still out there. Seeing the updates assures me they are not giving up!"


But Joshua Drezek wrote, "Hold a press conference when you have new info. It will get more of a response in the long run. Having one for the sake of having one will benefit no one."


"If the news conference gives no new information day after day it could deter people from helping with the search because it'll feel like hitting a brick wall again and again,” added Armando Muñoz. “I can see stopping being a good thing."


TPD did not say when it would decide whether to continue the afternoon on-camera briefings.