From time to time, citizens will post information and opinions about incidents that occur in University Place on various social media sites. But I would like to remind everyone again that posting or sharing information that you can’t confirm as accurate can actually be detrimental. I am all for citizens sharing information to help keep each other safe. If a neighbor had their car prowled, it’s okay to share that with your neighborhood group. These are good reminders to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and to not leave valuables in our cars. But posting that there is a rash of violent crimes with only limited information is not helpful.
A recent posting on a social media site prompted several questions to the Police Department and City Council about a recent robbery. In early May, a citizen was robbed by an individual who entered their property while the homeowner had gone outside to look for a pet. There have been no similar incidents reported in University Place or our neighboring jurisdictions. This appears to be an isolated incident, one which our detectives are treating as an open investigation.
Social media can keep events that occurred weeks, months or even years ago alive forever. This can create misplaced hysteria and worry. I would encourage you to attend our University Place Police public safety classes that are offered in the spring and fall. These classes provide tips on how to create a mindset dedicated to increasing your personal safety and awareness. You can get more information about these classes in our Public Safety newsletter that is published and mailed to U.P. homes twice a year.
University Place is a safe community but it is not crime free. We are a city of 33,000+ residents with growing commercial and recreational attractions. So if you see posts on Facebook or other social media platforms about incidents in U.P., please keep in mind that many times this information is based on secondhand or thirdhand information—or sometimes simply a rumor. Before you forward posts or retweet information, please contact the Police Department for the latest and most accurate information by emailingUPPublicSafety@CityofUP.com. We are always happy to work with our citizens to promote safe neighborhoods. By working together, we can promote a well-informed, safe and welcoming community.