I can't blame the people of Newtown if they are sick of reporters and cameramen, who all but took over their town on Dec. 14, 2012.
We in the media had to be there to document one of the worst school shootings in history, but the community that was dealing with the tragedy surely didn’t ask to be put on the world stage.
That’s why I was amazed when townspeople greeted me and Day photographer Tim Martin with smiles and handshakes when we showed up at the town’s municipal center this week. We were covering New London police detective Frank Jarvis, who was presenting a poem he wrote in honor of the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Jarvis said he hoped to bring comfort to the people of Newtown, and we were happy to cover the event.
Going into the assignment, I figured our presence would be tolerated and nothing more. I was pleasantly surprised. Newtown First Selectwoman Pat Liodra went out of her way to mention that she reads The Day. Police Chief Mike Kehoe, whose department is still reeling from the massacre and has been the subject of some painful stories, was gracious. He even told us he likes coming to the New London area and has attended the city’s annual Sailfest event many times.
As a courts reporter, I spend much of my time writing about people who behave badly. It’s a pleasure, now and then, to report on people like Jarvis, who went out of his way to comfort the people of Newtown, and to the people of Newtown themselves, who received us so warmly.