Best public information officer who we probably piss off all the time but is helpful anyway

Melinda McLaughlin Eugene Police Department 300 Country Club Rd. 541-682-511.

Not gonna lie, when you write for an alternative newspaper that’s known for digging into allegations of police abuse, unjust police shootings and police racism, and that has a generally skeptical eye of the “thin blue line,” you have to expect to piss off law enforcement. Eugene Weekly has probably annoyed the Eugene Police Department’s public information officer, Melinda McLaughlin, any number of times over the years, but she never shows it.

We’ve been told we made one spokesperson cry (city of Eugene), we’ve been told “come back when you have a real story” (University of Oregon, and it was a real story), and we’ve been ignored (insert most any government agency here), but McLaughlin always gets back to us right away — sometimes while on vacation — or makes sure someone else returns our call. She dives into our sometimes huge and detailed public records requests and basically does exactly what a public information office should do, which is help provide needed information to the public. And she’s always nice about it.