Police Blotters Provide Entertainment, Profits In Montana Town


In Bozeman, Mt., population 39,000, police officers provide fodder for one of the hottest books in town, “We Don’t Make This Stuff Up: The Very Best of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle Police Reports,” says the Wall Street Journal. While some newspapers are banking on the Internet and video to move their business into the 21st century, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle turns its police blotter into literature. The paper compiles the reports into a $10 paperback whose second edition is hot off the presses. Police blotters, laying bare the foibles of the community, have become the focal point of websites and books around the U.S. “It has just become the fabric of Bozeman,” said Nick Ehli, the paper’s managing editor. The Chronicle brought in more than $100,000 from its first edition two years ago, selling 11,000 copies in three printings. “It’s really taken on a life of its own.” That popularity can come at a cost–to police officers’ dignity, said Police Chief Ron Price. “When people read the blotter, they think this is the only thing we do,” said Price, referring to 911 calls. “At the same time, we do an awful lot more.”

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