Three stalking, for three sequences with “high media visibility” … It’s a blue wave that has swept over the TV sets in recent weeks. A tsunami of gendarmes, of all ranks, who took turns at the microphones of the news channels. Thanks to an astonishing law of series, which saw a chain of three spectacular manhunts in three weeks (in the Cévennes, Nantes and Dordogne), the soldiers demonstrated their know-how. in terms of communication.
Live comments on the images captured by the helicopters or the deployment of intervention units arriving in the area, technical analysis of the GIGN equipment, the elite unit of the gendarmerie, details on the methods of investigation and negotiation … The gendarmes know how to do everything and develop their “brand strategy” with unprecedented aplomb. And some ulterior motives.
As spokesperson for the national gendarmerie, Lieutenant-Colonel Maddy Scheurer, 43, is the face of the institution. She juggles between two laptops that she does not take her eyes off. This mother of three children went through crises with a smile, from the first morning hours at 6 a.m. to the last sets of the night. “I wouldn’t say it’s hard. I am in the spotlight when my comrades are engaged for hours in the field ”, she relativizes.
Twenty years in the field
In recent months, in this position, she has lived through tragic moments. “When we lost three comrades, on December 22, in the middle of the night [abattus par un forcené à Saint-Just, dans le Puy-de-Dôme], I was at 7 o’clock on the plateau. “ While restrained, Maddy Scheurer never expands nor leaves the paths marked out by the institution. She looks good “Boil” when, in the middle of a transmission, his phone vibrates and displays a “We caught him”, it will never give the scoop without the approval of the administrative and judicial authorities. It is the rule.
“300 gendarmes, 5 helicopters, 2 GIGN antennas, to arrest a guy over 4 km … To take back the suburbs, I’m afraid we will be fair …”, tweets a policeman.
During the media shootings, this daughter of a petty officer who grew up in barracks in Brest, is never alone in the maneuver and works in close collaboration with Sirpa, the information and public relations service of the armed forces. . “The press officer, for a day of stalking like those we have known, receives 500 calls from journalists and processes 300 WhatsApp messages”, recalls General Laurent Bitouzet, who has piloted the Sirpa gendarmerie for three years.
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