The news today that you read in newspapers, watch on TV, hear on the radio or find on the Internet isn’t always pleasant. Terrible things happen every day and it’s the job of the media to report them.

Our regular readers — and those who don’t follow our paper — likely are familiar with this week’s disturbing story about a former Menominee County Sheriff’s Office deputy charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct involving a 16-year-old boy. The deputy also was a school liaison officer and juvenile crime investigator in the county.

The EagleHerald was the first media outlet to report that Brian Helfert had been charged. We were the first to obtain the criminal complaint and forward that information to our readers.

That is part of our job. To report, investigate and cover the news.

We chose to provide some of the details of the alleged assault. And yes, some of it was graphic. Rest assured, it was as uncomfortable to write as it was to read.

In our decision, we felt it was necessary to include too much information rather than too little. We did not want to show bias for or against the accused; we preferred to lay out the information and let the readers get the full scope of the alleged crime.

Moreover, all of the facts we reported are public record and available at the Menominee County Courthouse. Law enforcement did a thorough job of investigating the matter before the prosecuting attorney proceeded with charges.

Had we gone the other direction and gave a vague report of the alleged crime, it would have been a disservice to our readers.

As for the alleged victim, we have empathy for him and his family. We never publish the names of alleged victims of sex crimes and we never publish the names of alleged victims who are minors.

We have heard from some of our readers and many non-subscribers. Some have praised us for providing details about this case, while others have criticized us for providing those same details.

Just because something is uncomfortable or disturbing doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be covered.

This matter has been talked about on the street and in social media for weeks, even before the suspect was fired in late December for violating the department’s code of conduct. Although Helfert is innocent until proven guilty, some people appear to have made up their minds.

While we are aware of the loose discussion that takes place, it is our job to wait until we have solid information from credible sources before proceeding with our stories.

Every person who works at the EagleHerald – reporters, editors, ad sales people, drivers, pressmen and more — is a friend, a neighbor and part of this community. We take no pleasure in reporting this kind of news, but it’s our job.