Last updated on January 26, 2020
Handcuffs & Coffee brings the issues of local law enforcement back to the coffee table: Our community, our issues, our responsibility.
SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING, are now words familiar in our vocabulary. We often think this refers to reporting possible acts of terrorism, foreign or domestic. In reality it means so much more. Neighborhood Watch programs are based on this concept. A safer community is one in which the citizens and law enforcement work together to help make the community safer.
Lodi has started a Neighborhood Watch program. The program is in its infancy and asks for your involvement. Neighborhood Watch is not a program that’s asks citizens to “patrol” a neighborhood but one that asks you to simply be observant and report to law enforcement suspicious behavior. The more eyes engaged in the prevention of crime the greater the success. Neighborhood Watch and your police department are asking you to be our extra set of eyes.
An officer patrols a neighborhood and although familiar with the area the officer does not know your neighborhood as well as you do. If the officer passes a person in a driveway in early afternoon and the person waves and does not appear suspicious the officer drives on. You living in that neighborhood may very well know the house this person is at is vacant or the owners are at work. That very piece of information, and others like that, could make the difference in the officer having contact with a subject and preventing a crime from even occurring.
The Neighborhood Watch program holds meetings where citizens and Officers interact. Best practices and safety information can be shared. Neighborhood Watch provides opportunity to ask questions of your police department, receive specialized training and hear alert information in your community.
All too often persons feel they are being a bother or wasting an officers time and don’t call and report suspicious or odd circumstances. Calling and reporting suspicious circumstances is never a bother or waste of time. I’m telling you we want those calls. It does not matter the time of day or day of week. If you see something say something. It is critical that your law enforcement gets this information in a timely fashion. Law enforcement and the dispatch center is a 24 hour 7 day a week operation. It is a far better result to call when something is happening than to find out hours or days later that a crime has occurred.
Be safe and please call when you SEE SOMETHING, it makes a difference.
Chief Wayne A. Smith is currently employed by the City of Lodi Wi. Smith is a charter member (1996) of The Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators (WAHI) and held the office of President (2012-2013), and in 2011 was named Death Investigator of the Year by WAHI.