Monday, February 8, 2010

Compliments received

The complaints seem common, when in fact the compliments are far more frequent. It’s good to listen to the criticism (to pick out any grains of truth) but it’s also important to focus on the positive. Over the weekend, two landed in my inbox that were particularly gratifying. The first concerned the work of one of our officers on a missing person case. I had spotted the reports on this one a week ago, and sent a note to the investigating officer and her supervisors about the quality of the investigation that was reflected in the reports. This weekend, the family of the missing person sent me an email expressing their thanks. They were genuinely impressed with the level of effort they sensed from the department—something they hadn’t really anticipated. I’m not comfortable with reposting the content here, but the second weekend compliment is suitable for these pages:

“Hello LPD, Last night my husband accidently left our garage door open in the Thompson Creek area in south Lincoln. At about 3 AM a police office rang our door bell to let us know that we needed to close our garage door. THANK YOU x 1 million!! Thanks for keeping your eye out on our neighborhood and for bringing a this simple mistake, which could have been devastating, to our attention!!! I cannot thank you enough for keeping our neighborhood safe!! Keep up the amazing work - know that you are greatly appreciated for all that you do!!”

The author of this nice email may not have realized that this contact is part of a strategy that has been particularly effective in driving down residential burglaries in Lincoln.

This kind of feedback is certainly appreciated. In police work, you deal with an awful lot of negativity, and officers need to be reminded from time to time that the good work they do is appreciated immensely by the vast majority of people we serve. Last week, Officer Lacey Schwochow certainly made an impression!


Anonymous said...

They do go the extra mile. The other day an officer told me my fly was open.
When I went to zip, it stuck. The good news is that he had one of those multi tool things and we were able to get er dun...or ah undun.

Anonymous said...

Leaving a garage door open unknowingly is something I have been guilty of once or twice. Do you know of any device that would sound an alarm if a door remains open for a certain time?

A lot of times I will leave the house and be a few blocks down the road and I think "Did I close the garage door?" You know that feeling similar to the one you get when you wonder if you left the stove burner on?

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

My alarm system is connected to the garage doors, so if any door is open, I can't set the alarm.

Charity said...

Last spring, we had left the garage door open. An officer stopped by to tell me just before bedtime. I very much appreciated it and, to this day, always check to make sure the garage door is shut before going to bed.

Anonymous said...

I will title this
"Far more danger"
John has feral cats that live next door. Yesterday about 1600 hrs John went to tend to his feral cats. John rushed back to his home and got his house key. Without telling his sister that he was going to spoil a break in in progress. John unlocked the front door and there stood the intruder. John tells the intruder if you ever come back I will call the police. The intruder asked if he could have his coat. John, in all his grace let him have it. Some posters on here and our legislators think it should be ok to shoot an intruder in this case. After the intruder departed, John was left to clean up all the blood and broken glass.
John put himself in great danger. He really is one to not call the police, EVER!
I explained that he put himself in a situation that could have been a murder, as many people who break in, in broad daylight, will become violent. This person left much blood behind. I am glad this did not become a far serious situation. Can Center team pay attention to this place as I am sure this person will be back. They seek the weak and defenseless. It is the only house in Lincoln with 24 feral cats. If the intruder reads the, you left your green hat behind, it is out front on the empty house on the corners lawn.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Feral Cat

Steve said...

While I understand that LPD officers mean well, I'm not so sure I'd want to be awakened at 3 a.m. because my garage door was open. I'm quite certain it isn't against the law. Of course, my opinion might change if I woke up in the morning to find all my tools were gone. I'll stop short of saying officers should leave people to suffer the consequences of their behaviors. This practice may save officers some work and help reduce the number of burglaries, but people will only "learn" the hard way, not by having baby sitters to watch over them.

As for Jim J and the feral cat incident, I would have let the would-be burglar have it too, but I'm not talking about the coat.

Herb said...

Gun Nut:

I recently installed this Garage Door Opener:|1||p_product_description|1&pl=1&currentURL=/pl_Garage%2BDoors%2B_4294858065_4294937087_?Ns=p_product_brand_name|1||p_product_description|1

(note, no advertising for Lowe's is implied)

This unit from Chamberlain came with a remote that plugs into the wall in my bedroom (which is above the garage) and gives a green light if the door is closed and a red light if the door is open.

Since I frequently travel, it ha given SWMBO some piece of mind that the door is closed without requiring a trip downstairs to check if the door got closed by the last teenager to return home.

Tom Casady said...


I'll keep that in mind if I ever see smoke pouring from under the eaves of your house. ;-)

Watchful said...

It is interesting to note that some people seem to think being awakened by an officer at 3am is a bad thing. Well, it could be.

Just the other day, officers found broken glass from a jeep parked on the street. A few blocks away, there was a huge pile of broken glass in the middle of the street, but no car.

Officers contacted the owner of the jeep, took the report for the glass and the missing speakers, then went on to knock on doors near the glass pile.

Asking if you know what car is usually parked on the street may seem like a silly question to be awakened for. If your car was just stolen, and officers knew this because they attempted to seek answers rather than wait until you leave for work to make the discovery, could maybe catch the thief still in your car, with everything still intact (sans the glass) and make an arrest.

They regularly contact people when things dont look right because they look for things out of norm when most people are asleep. They do the same things when people are usually awake too.

I would much rather have the police be alert to these sorts of things and serve reminders (no matter the hour) that thieves are also watching for any opportunity they can to relieve you of your property.

I realize that in this example is one where there is evidence that a crime may have been committed. At the same time, if officers let you know you may have created a potential opportunity for bad guys to strike, you may choose to correct the situation and thank the officer for watching out for you, or you can call him names and slam the door.

Maybe you should post a note on your stoop that alerts police that you prefer to be left alone to get rested. This would mean that your garage contents, your car, or some other thing you value will be half way to Chicago before you call to make a report.

Steve said...

Ease up, everyone. I didn't say it was a bad thing for the police to alert people to open garage doors. I just said I might prefer taking the risk rather than being awakened in the middle of the night. It is my choice, isn't it?

Some of you act as if it is guaranteed you'll be robbed if you leave the door open. I doubt that the odds are that high. Again, I'm not saying LPD shouldn't do it, and I know they mean well. On the other hand Chief, there is a big difference between a house clearly on fire and the remote possibility someone might steal my cordless drill. I hope you'll reconsider and at least honk your horn as you go by if flames are shooting from my windows. :)

Anonymous said...

Steve: Are you refering to the sack of things that the intruder had packed and ready to take with him? I do not know if the drunk used our sack or had one with him.
John told him to leave it sit right where it is.
I assume you would just resort to a level of force that I think this really drunk intruder would not care any way. Grace is a really rare occasion. Ron Brown talked about grace in a recent TV program.
But you are right, most would resort to a high level of anger. Some people are just saints I guess.

Tom Casady said...


Last time I pounded on someone's door in the wee hours to save their lives as the smoked poured from the eaves, it turned out to be a smoker with two turkeys on the back patio during a temperature inversion. Never really noticed that the smoldering furniture and framing seemed to smell awafully tasty. I invited myself back for dinner, though.

Anonymous said...

Steve why dont you post your address if your so confident. You sound like an add for LifeLock.