Evening Police Luncheon – 7 officers, 21 public. Held in Brent Warner Fest Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
The following is a This Week News column by Director Shiloh Todorov that will appear in the paper next week. Following the article is some additional Q&A from the evening Police Luncheon.
What's the best way to protect your neighborhood? Be aware and report anything out of line. It's that simple.
In two years of attending our monthly police luncheons, the simple message is clear:
- Call the cops.
- Dial the dispatcher.
- Put a call through to police.
- Be it 645-4545, the nonemergency number, or even if all you can remember is to dial 911 (if it isn't an emergency, they'll transfer you), if you see something out of whack in German Village: CALL.
For more than a decade now, the Civic Relations Committee of German Village Society has been hosting a monthly Police Luncheon on the last Thursday of the month. Jerry Glick has taken on the planning and leadership role for that sit-down for the past several years.
Jerry and the 11th Precinct moved the "luncheon" to the evening last week so people who can't make the usual 12:30 p.m. event had a chance to talk with officers, ask questions and get to know a little better who is protecting them. There were seven officers and 24 neighbors taking the opportunity together in Brent Warner Fest Hall.
There were some great questions, like:
Q: What do I do when a vagrant or solicitor knocks on the door?
A: Your safest approach to these kinds of crooks is not to answer the door but make people know you're home so they hear a voice and don't try to break in. Try, "I'm not interested."
Call 645-4545 to report it and then police have a record and you haven't just passed the problem down the block to your neighbors.
Even if police can't respond immediately (the 11th precinct runs roughly from 70 to Frebis and 71 to Alum Creek with about six cruisers available per shift) when they get to German Village next, they'll have a description of the solicitor. They can find a reason to approach and say, "Hey, we got a call about you. We're watching."
One the officer present last week told the crowd: "Some people operate ONLY east of Parsons seemingly understanding that the German Village community calls suspicious folks in with lots of detail so we know who we're looking for."
"Call and call and call," said Officer Barr Kirby. "What's it cost to call? Failure to call or interact with police gets the attention of crooks. Do your part."
These officers talk about "their neighborhood" and they mean it. They are us -- and they are just as interested as we are in keeping this a neighborhood with safe streets and low crime rates. Do your part. See something? Say something. Call and report.
How do we help dispatchers know who "Freddy Taylor" is when dispatch doesn't know – officers say "acting suspicious" – frustrating to call and spend 10 minutes
- dispatchers may have been fishing for info on how to code call and how many officers to send
- person on phone ISN'T the one dispatching officers, so the communication trail needs to be longer – more info
- Q – what's preventing him for crime if he gets let out all the time? A (Kirby) – know who you're electing as a judge in order to get folks behind bars to stay; police are doing their job and locking up bad guys but judges drop the ball and can be voted out; police hands' are as tied as I've ever seen them. There was a time when you could administer a little bit of justice…They're trying to make our job pretty, but this job isn't pretty. It is frustrating because I shouldn't know your name as a repeat offender.
1.5 million dispatch runs per year even while complying with city/state/fed laws
Kirby – persistence, when there are newsworthy cases before a judge, show up in the courtroom to make sure that person gets jailed
increase amount of money it takes to go to prison
call and we will respond 9 times out of 10
Q –do you respond to all calls? A – six cruisers available for big footprint and you may not know activity elsewhere in district, sometimes sgt must call to ignore certain kinds of calls as it is low priority at that moment
Q – frustrating to get hung up on from phone report to 645-4545 A – if you don't have a suspect or see the person steal, a cruiser can only do a report from that so phone report is prioritized; report must fit state standard for electronic reporting (dumb stuff kicked back from state includes not properly noting dollars and cents); you can go to headquarter info desk to take reports in person, too
Don't report FIRST to Cyber, report to 645-4545 – police may be reading but TOO LATE
-always ok to dial 911 and get transferred to 4545
Q –recommend safety precautions for new community garden items A – invest in lights, especially motion sensor, consider a sign that restrict hours of access and get a trespass letter so officers can arrest after hours, Schiller hours are often stated to suspicious folks as a first step in asking them to leave, then arrest; fake sign that says "under surveillance"
Q – I have "no solicitors" sign but my neighbors hire them to wash windows etc. How do you kindly tell neighbors that hiring is really helping case the place? A – ask for the peddler's license (different color each year). Call it in and officer can go say "we got a call about you" so thief knows we're watching.
Q – prostitution sighting, A – report it, the more calls the precinct gets the more chances we have to boost patrol officers
Q – do call volume make it look like GV isn't safe? A – only actual, investigated crimes get into state crime stats – calls for service alone don't fuel that, calls for service allow the city to send the appropriate number of officers to the right neighborhoods (along with crime stats)
Walk with personal protection or personal protection plan. Mace is OK in Ohio.
Q – how do downspouts get taken during broad daylight on Beck? A – These are pros – they move very fast. Plus, people don't know what to look for to even understand there's a crime underway. Crooks have to fear of hurting themselves or property or reputation.
Dogs are a great deterrent to crime.
Q – speeding noted constantly on Whittier and on Jaeger A – asking first shift to watch
This month's police lunch meal provided by Katzinger's.