Q: What can we do to make a difference in a policeman’s job or day-to-day routine?
A: I think the thing that means the most is a simple “thank you.” It really helps, even if you have critical questions/issues, to let an officer know you appreciate the job he or she does on a daily basis. I have seen the mood in a room change dramatically with the words, “I appreciate the job you do, and we are not here to yell at you, but….” And then the speaker continues with his or her issue. Perhaps you notice an officer sitting in a restaurant, and as you walk past you take the time to express your gratitude. The officer may not show how much that means initially, but please be sure that they do appreciate it. We are always grateful for people taking the time to thank us.
On a larger scale, everything citizens do to educate themselves about our job will make a difference. If you are a member of a crime watch, volunteer at your neighborhood substation, participate in a ride-a-long, or simply take the time to become informed about current department issues — those things help all of us communicate better. The increase in communication will hopefully lead to a better understanding of the day-to-day routine.
Q: How can a citizen whose home has been burglarized work with the police to do effective follow-up on the crime investigation?
A: Please make note of your report number as a starting point. Second, the ability to provide us with serial numbers and/or identification marking really helps. On behalf of our detectives, let me ask you to provide consistent contact information and follow-through with appointments with our investigators. If you learn anything from your neighbors that was not reported initially, make sure the information is relayed to the detective assigned to your case. If you have not marked your valuables yet, make that a priority. Once a case is filed with the district attorney, please provide them with the same cooperation you have given us. The most effective investigation is one where the suspect is not only arrested, but also convicted.
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