This spring the media-relations officer for the St. Louis County Police Department found himself part of the police blotter for a change. Randy Vaughn was filling out paperwork when a fleeing suspect burst into the building and ran past his desk — the perp seemingly unaware that he had chosen police headquarters as a hiding place. The cops easily nabbed their prey, and Vaughn went about his duty of informing the media of the incident. "Usually, bad guys don't run at you," reported the police spokesman, adding, "it was ridiculous." Such colorful commentary isn't out of the ordinary for Vaughn, a seasoned vet who knows how to mix gravity with wit when dealing with the press. Who can forget his e-mail to reporters that not-so-subtly requested that they refrain from paging him between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.? "IN OTHER WORDS, PLEASE LET ME SLEEP!" wrote Vaughn. On its face, the message seems brusque, but we ask: What other bureaucrat will take your calls eighteen hours a day?
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