This week I want to share examples of great police work. One was the result of assistance from an alert citizen, and the other by an alert officer conducting proactive patrols.
A few weeks ago, a resident spotted a mail thief in the early morning hours. They provided a great description of the vehicle and driver, as well as the last known direction of travel, to 911. With only two officers on patrol, pursuing these calls can be a little bit of a cat-and-mouse game with so many side streets and a suspect on the move, but one of our officers was able to locate the vehicle and make a stop. They recovered mail and other property stolen from numerous U.P. residents.
Then just last week, one of your daytime officers was patrolling the Fred Meyer parking lot and noticed some suspicious activity when a female reached into the open window of a truck to open the door. The alarm sounded. The officer approached to investigate. This turned out to be a truck that had just been stolen from another county and inside were several stolen credit cards and IDs.
Property crimes like these are the biggest challenge we face in U.P. Thankfully, violent crime rates are below most comparable jurisdictions but vehicle prowls, vehicle thefts and general thefts are high. Because our citizens are aware of this and do a great job of keeping an eye on suspicious activity, I could share several more examples of citizens taking action to help fight crime.
But the challenge continues to be how to ensure we have officers readily available when people call. With only two officers per shift, this can be difficult. We also need enough officers to provide proactive patrolling. Police are not like the fire department; we don’t wait for the calls to come to us. A key component to community safety is proactive patrolling, which impacts criminal behavior and traffic safety.
I am continually impressed with what we can accomplish as a City in providing police services. We have great citizen involvement and support, and a group of committed officers.