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Citizen Involvement June 23, 2010

Posted by southbendpolice in Street Beat.

Partnerships and Education are at the heart of the concept of “community policing”. Sharing information and encouraging interaction is at the heart of my goal for our department to reach out , share information, and to be accessible to residents.

A majority of our crimes can be easily averted if people learn about and implement simple prevention measures. It is also crucial for citizens to get involved when crime occurs. Consider a recent robbery/theft case.

A south side woman was recently victimized by having her purse taken while loading groceries into her vehicle. during the commotion, the victim was able to alert other store patrons by yelling “stop him, he’s got my purse”. In this case, the suspect had parked his car next to the victim’s vehicle for a fast getaway.

As a result of her yelling, two other citizens heard this and chose to get involved. The first witness unsuccessfully tries to stop the suspect (which is not recommended). However, he was able to get a good look at the offender in the process. The second witness was able to follow the suspect’s vehicle and obtained license plate information for us.

As a result of the efforts of citizens who chose to aid another human being who was being victimized, the intelligence gathered during the investigation, and the resulting police work by officers involved led to the offender being located, with the woman’s purse, money, and ID cards being recovered a short time later not too far away from the store where she was victimized.

Yes, this is a story of good police work, but it also illustrates the importance of citizen involvement. It is sad that you can’t leave your purse on the car seat for even a brief moment, but this is the reality of life in South Bend and the area as a whole.

You have to protect your valuables and be alert to potential threats around you.

We were successful because people got involved when the crime occurred. I do not recommend trying to physically apprehend criminals, but it is always helpful to get a good description, including accurate tag information with a complete license plate number and an accurate desctiption of the vehicle and suspect(s) whenever possible.

We have a good community, which helps to directly influence our quality of life. We strive to keep it that way, but can’t go it alone. Thank you for your help.

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