Home Main Category Opinion A Word From “The Hounds…”

A Word From “The Hounds…”


We’ve never felt the need to disparage local law enforcement in any way.

It’s a tough, often dirty job we happen to have had a lot of contact with over the years. Many officers became personal friends, and we’ve had a lot of respect for many of them.

But when a local police chief opts to cast doubt on what we do – and how we do it – in a public forum, we feel compelled to, as another local chief has said: “Put on your Big Boy pants” and answer up.

And, for the record, our Big Boy pants are always on.

In a recent meeting of the Walnut Creek City Council, Chief Jamie Knox attempted to address how local residents get their news these days, alluding to the prevalence of digital news services – like ours – and the diminishing strength of more traditional outlets.

The chief was attempting to explain public perception of local crime rates, saying his city’s crime numbers were down while many locals were of the opposing view – driven largely by reporting such as ours.

Chief Knox never referred to us by name, rather describing the landscape as comprised of “a couple of local news outlets who are scanner hounds and follow us to calls” posting what we see and leading to a public “disconnect” and perception that crime is on the rise. We’re not aware of anyone else doing what we do to the degree cited by the chief so we must assume he is talking about us.

Here, please, allow us to make a few points: The police do not see it in their interest to release what they know to the public. The police, and civic agencies in general, are making it harder and harder for the public to access critical information in a timely manner. And despite claims of “increased transparency” and creation of the very sort of digital networks they condemn in others, it does not take much to see that the crux of the “news” presented is very much weighted to show the police in the best possible light.

That’s called “public relations” or, in more skeptical terms sometimes used by detractors – “copaganda.” Hopefully, the public sees through it when it’s in use. And we’re not “following you around,” Chief, as disparaging as that may sound for you – we are being directed to scenes by neighbors and passersby who want to know what is happening AND WHO ARE BEING TOLD NOTHING BY THE POLICE.

This is not to detract from the very real and good work that police do. Our readers know that we are quick to call that out when observed by our people or readers – most of whom connect with us via our established news network, comprised now of many thousands of readers.

The chief added that “the numbers don’t lie” and that crimes in his city are down, though some were left looking for hard data proving that to be the case.

We’re not here to argue the point, though we will say we have often been confused by the department’s reporting of incidents and things we have witnessed with our own eyes, and filmed, etc.

So, if you don’t mind, we’ll continue running to scenes, asking questions and providing answers for a thirsty public in need of same.

Call us what you will. We remain, proudly:

“The Hounds”


  1. Chief says the “numbers don’t lie”, which is only true when he uses the wrong numbers! Having lived in WC for 57 years now with brothers and sisters who were local LEO’s, I know absolutely that crime here (and everywhere around here), is out of control and insane! Dream on, Chief!

  2. Taking a page from my day job duties…
    If it is good news, the people want to know
    If it is bad news, the people HAVE to know

    As I have often stated on this platform, 24/680 keep doing what you do.

  3. [Mr. Burns voice]: “Release the hounds!”

    The WC city council and police can regain some credibility if they can finally forthrightly explain their decision to stand down and allow looting in June 2020. We are still paying for that decision.

    The public deserves honesty. I can respect an honest explanation, even if I disagree with the rationale. Silence is cowardice. Don’t vote for cowards.

  4. Hey Houndog,

    I’ve been telling you this for months. How about a no edit/delete policy on my posts?
    As a former LEO, I am pro-police, but have told your readers that current law enforcement is handicapped by local elected officials and those same officials name the police chiefs.

    Why do you think Oakland went a year without a chief and I’m wagering that the new chief likely stays just over one year.

    Firestone 11R
    Formerly with Los Angeles County Sheriff

    • Hey, Wyatt – we reserve the right to DELETE any post that is racist, threatening, profane or any other of the things that will get you deleted from most other community forums.

      Once again, we do not EDIT posts, preferring to DELETE them if there is something objectionable. But we don’t change your words.

      And once once again – we reserve the right to DELETE redundant and repetitive posts, cited by our readership as most objectionable.

      If you’ve got something to say, find a new and civil way to say it and you’re good to go. And you’re all over our pages so cries of selective editing/deletion are pitiful and wasted.

      The Hounds

  5. Well, Walnut Creek is safe.
    Basically is, and definitely when compared to Oakland. Your odds are becoming a victim of crime in Walnut Creek is probably one in 100. Well in Oakland is one out of 10. I like Walnut Creek!

  6. Frankly, you and the other “digital news service” from Berkeley are about the only outlets where we can get timely reporting and information on local crime and related doings. It’s crickets on the traditional SF based electronic media, for whatever reason. I thank you for what you do, and please keep at it. Oh, like Jeff, please consider not deleting my posts or comments….

    • You defending 24/680 reminds me of Maggie’s response to Danny in Caddyshack when he offered to marry her after hearing she may be pregnant: “that’s all I need!!”, she said.

  7. I happen to agree with the Chief, digital news sites like this make a living reporting on crime (with a crash or fire thrown in). That naturally gets the readership/commenters all juiced up with the sky falling etc, thus attracting more eyeballs, including mine, to the site. It also creates an outsized impression on the level of crime in the community. That makes it even more important for the chief to put on his own big boy pants and provide clear, supportable stats. Heck, he could even write an editorial to 24/680 if he’s so worried about public perception.

    • And the traditional news sources in the Bay area often have a soft on crime perspective, so we need the balance. I encouraged Chief Knox to provide more thorough and timely information.

      Firestone 11R

      • Soft on crime? I’d say they deliberately censor it to fit their own needs and narrative. Again accountability and integrity are dead here.

  8. Did a very considerate rebuke before the city council. Afterwards and privately Chief Knox was very gracious and said his comments were taken out of context. We also discussed the difficulty of working in an instant internet news world and his lack of resources to engage with the media..

    Firestone 11R

  9. “If it bleeds, it leads”. I believe that axiom originated from experience within the news business rather than from external critics. News of local crime and other troubles is useful, but it is presented without perspective on how representative it is of daily life. It can be factual and also lopsided in its impact. We are capitalists. No one is spending money or time reporting on the non-criminal activity that occurs alongside it every day.

  10. Those of us who have lived in the area for decades know the truth, it’s not even a debate.

    Some people have zero integrity in life and sadly they can end up as police chiefs. He’s doing a great job, its really improved in the last decade, i mean we all see that right ? Just gotta look passed this false narrative of crime. I remember 10 years ago we had a lot of people getting shot per year in walnut creek, and I remember those huge groups of people robbing daily, the blm protestors attacking people simply eating their dinner. Ya geez fake news.

    Sad, sometimes i think the bay area is now where you go to see common sense die.

  11. The Chief’s attitude toward people of less esteem shows how far left the “political class” is moving, with totalitarian communism as its goal.

    As with most politicians today, they have taken the description of leaders and turned it into dictators.

    “We the people” will soon be ruled by the pompous elites of those who look at themselves as superior beings.

    I can’t help but wonder if or when the peasants will revolt against the tyranny.

  12. So a crime is reported over a police scanner, police respond to said crime,local digital reporters hear the police report, go to site of said crime and report what they see and they are somehow responsible for misleading the public on the incidence of crime in the area. So if you don’t report it, it doesn’t happen? To me that just reinforces why your reporting is needed.

    • Thanks, Jana, though we’ve changed that dynamic a little and felt we needed to correct the mistaken impression expressed in this case. We felt it slightly demeaning/dismissive, as well as incorrect. We were referred to – or another site we’re unfamiliar with – were referred to as “scanner hounds” who “follow us (the police) around.” In actuality, most of our tips these days come from our Flash network, neighbors who notify us of incidents in their neighborhoods as they happen. And, no reverse slight intended, we often arrive at the scene of these incidents before the police – so there’s that!

Leave a Reply