My name is Kara (Sheridan) Ayers and I'm a proud former resident of Franklin County. I still routinely check in on Frankfort news and am a member of the Franklin County Sheriff Facebook page. I'm also a mental health professional with a PhD in clinical psychology. I'm writing today with concerns that many of the details shared on the Sheriff's Facebook page may have unintended negative consequences.
Over the weekend a Facebook post on the Sheriff's website caught my attention. The post detailed a struggle that occurred following police response to a call that an adult may be suicidal. The post primarily centered on the unfortunate result that an officer received an injury from the struggle that entailed once officers arrived. The post also provided a number of other details, however. The woman who was allegedly suicidal was pregnant and the post shared details related to her progress in the pregnancy as well as quotes from officers about their treatment of her given the knowledge that she was pregnant.
In my profession, confidentiality is key. I understand that police officers are not bound to such restrictions but I disagree with what I perceive to be some sensationalism of a very personal and difficult moment for this individual and likely her family. This incident is not isolated. I've read other accounts on this page that have resulted in almost taunting comments mocking the behavior of ALLEGED criminals. Yes, the posts generate interest and typically fairly universal support for the Sheriff's department. What makes for a good Facebook post though might not be best for our community.
Decisions to post such private and personal details could have significant negative ramifications. When Frankfort citizens experience suicidal thoughts, we want them to be able to seek help without the fear of public humiliation. The young woman in the post made poor decisions following the arrival of police to her home. There's no excuse for that and the responders do deserve public recognition, praise and support. We should be able to issue that support in a more appropriate and professional manner that promotes the best interest of everyone in our community.
Thank-you for your time in considering my point,
Kara Ayers, PhD