WLS-TV Chicago reporter Paul Meincke moved to center stage during a hostage
crisis Tuesday in which a suspected bank robber refused to allow police to
provide treatment to an officer whom the suspect had shot.
Police spokesman Pat Camden asked Meincke if he would talk via cellular phone
to suspect Daniel Salley, who was down the hall and said he wanted to get his
story out. Meincke was given a bulletproof vest and spoke with Salley for about
two minutes before Salley surrendered.
Meincke was mindful of the departure from the journalists' role, and he told
viewers that 'while you don't want to stop being a journalist . the greater good
has to be served here.' Police had been unable to get to their wounded colleague
for more than two hours.
Meincke told Broadcasting & Cable a few hours after the incident
that he also wanted to clear up local reports that said he'd negotiated with the
suspect. 'I just listened,' he said. 'I don't know if I would have been keen on
doing it if it had been face-to-face.'
When asked on-air how he liked being the subject of local interviews, Meincke
said, 'I don't want that job.'
- Dan Trigoboff