Friday, August 13, 2010

Another kind of community policing

Last week’s arrest of three suspects who we believe have been involved in a string of church burglaries in Lincoln is a great example of good police work—not all of which is done by police officers. 

First, our all-civilian Crime Analysis Unit has done a good job of keeping all of us informed as this pattern has emerged.  The strong geographic pattern gave police officers an area of focus.  Second, our local news media, having been informed of the trend, did a good job of publicizing the crime pattern and helping us encourage citizens who live near churches to be good neighborhood guardians. 

Third, one of those alert neighbors spotted the suspicious activity near the Church of the Brethren, and alerted our late shift officers.  Fourth, the Southeast Team officers did a great job responding quickly and establishing a perimeter.  Finally, Lincoln Police Department K-9 Dexter, accompanied by his handler, Officer Niki Loos, sniffed out the suspects in their hiding place, and the collar was made.

It was a partnership that involved sworn, civilian, and four-legged members of the police department, the media and an alert citizen.  Now that’s what I would call “community policing!”


Anonymous said...

Yes thieves need caught. They are criminals and need to be put in jail. Catch them anyway you can.

Anonymous said...

August 13, 2010 9:11 AM:
"Catch them anyway you can".

All of us are lucky we have educated judges and an educated legal advisor at LPD.
In fact LPD often talks to this legal advisor about not catching them anyway they can. If LPD did so, some would get the attention of an educated judge ( a judge is trusted to make sure the law is followed) The police enforce the law, the judges make sure it was done by the law. The legal advisor at LPD gives advice to the police as to how to Catch them in a legal way so as to not compromise a case. Have you ever been told to "explain it to a judge" by a police officer? They say this because police do not determine guilt, hence, if you are accused of a crime, it makes no sense whatsoever to discuss it with anyone but a priest or a lawyer.
Do not argue with a police officer, it will get you NO WHERE!
I myself know little about the inner workings of such a complex legal machine. For that... are lawyers. And if you really want to go down the tube, just lie to your own lawyer. Or stand and debate your ticket with an officer.

alex said...

Hey Chief,

Long time reader, first time commenter. Anyway I know you're an Android kinda guy, and that you're interested in the various ways smartphones are becoming more integrated in public service. I came across an app today called CitySourced (website: ) that allows users to make submissions directly from their phones to their local government using both text format and picture mail. These submissions are tagged via GPS and are collated onto what I assume is an integrated Google Map format. Not only that, but the website has a code generator that lets you insert a map widget on any website!

Unfortunately it doesn't look like anyone has submitted anything here in Lincoln yet, but you can check out other cities on the site to see how everything ends up looking.

As of right now it seems CitySourced is primarily geared toward minor civic issues-- graffiti, potholes, etc-- but it doesn't take a prophet to foresee the usefulness that this and other apps will bring in the future.

Sorry for the wall of text, I just thought this fit right in with the idea of "help from the community."

Keep up the good work!

Tom Casady said...


Greg MacLean, Lincoln's Public Works director, showed this to me a few months ago. He, of course, was thinking potholes! This app reflects a trend in which people increasingly want to communicate with government electronically, and we are not well- prepared to do so. The public safety agencies are a great example: we have a huge and sophisticated infrastructure for receiving telephone calls and radio dispatching units--911. But more and more people want to text or email us, and when it comes to electonic communication with the public, 911 centers (for the most part) are still in the 1980's. I get way to many emails or posts to Crimestoppers that should have been called in and dispatched--yesterday!

Ed said...


trying to get some positive input or reasoning. there has been some talk about local bars taking a proactive safety route and trying to hire off duty officers to work the door only (outside the bars) ----(like omaha) and check id's. also help on the "strain" of the downtown officers in then needs in protecting the local patrons? if you dont mind replying and giving your input why you "dont" allow it or what we can do to allow it, to insure the proactive aspects of safety for patrons and local downtown businesses, during the "most violent" times of the days....

I have been told its because LPD doesnt work for liquor license establishemtns, however, I have seen them at such events as the lcancaster event center, or even in past cases quick shops?

Just looking for an answer to help a ongoing and growing problem as lincoln becomes a larger city fron its current township size....



Steve said...

Just returned from Sturgis, so I'm a bit behind on the blog. Had to comment on the mandatory helmet law mentioned a few days back. From what I saw in SD, the overwhelming majority of riders choose not to wear the helmet when it is legal to go without it. It is certainly much more comfortable without it. Glad I had one on when I dumped my bike some 35 years ago, yet I'd go without if I could now.

Another thing I noticed via my trip: nearly 2,000 miles of riding this week, and the worst roads I encountered were right here in Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

Steve-Politics aside, there were 9 fatal accidents in Sturgis this year. Of course there were also 290 DUI arrests which may have helped curb the fatal count.

Love the rally, but had to be in Denver for a meeting and missed this year. Hope you had some fun for me.


Anonymous said...


How many of those 9 deaths were primarily due to head injuries? I'm betting all 9 of them were, but that's just conjecture.

I'm not crazy about helmet laws for adults. I think that the person is the best judge of whether what they have between their ears is worth protecting or not. That being said, I'd never ride without one. I value my brain. In a plastic bag, I've still got the full-face helmet that was between the base om my skull and a concrete curb when I flipped over a car whose driver apparently didn't see me before they pulled out; my body landed on the grass, the back of my head hit the curb - hard. I walked away from that one. The helmet looked like someone gave it one good whack with a sledge, but I didn't even get a minor concussion. I gave comfort little thought after that.

Anonymous said...


I have no idea how many were head injuries but statistics say an average of 70%.

I teach motorcycle safety classes at our local H-D dealer. I've had several students land on their heads at low speed while in training, in a "safe" environment and you'd be surprised how violent that collision is when your head free falls from 5 feet in the air to a hard surface. Two former students have written me thank you notes after collisions in the real world where they cracked their helmets on the ground. One hit a dog, the other hit a car.Neither wreck was their fault. They both felt the helmet saved them.

From a political viewpoint, it's kind of like seatbelts. Everyone, including me, prefers having freedom to choose. But with both helmets and seatbelts, you may only need them once in a lifetime. I just want to have them at that moment and give myself the best chance to live to ride another day.


Anonymous said...

How much weight is given in court to the results of field sobriety tests? I think it would be very interesting to compare the results of a field sobriety test given to helmeted riders versus bare headed riders on a 100 degree+ day. Anyone want to bet that all other things being equal the helmeted riders would test impaired more often than the bare headed riders? If our state legislators had to take one of these field tests on a hot August day mandatory helmet laws would be repealed.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...


A rider that is mentally/physically fatigued because he/she is being impacted by heat/cold could possibly be more likely to fail field sobriety tests. I'll give you that.

At the end of the day however, the true measure of their impairment according to the law is their BAC. And the temperature has nothing to do with that. The 290 people arrested in Sturgis were hot whether they wore a helmet or not. And they were drunk according to their BAC or they would not be arrested, field tests aside.


Anonymous said...

The point I was trying to make is that wearing a helmet on an extremely hot day CAUSES impairment. A helmet provides protection not PREVENTION. I am convinced it is better to NOT have an accident in the first place.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

Gun Nut-Believe it or not, we're on the same side. I really think you should be able to decide as a mature adult whether to wear or not wear a helmet. I don't want you to have an accident and I understand that wearing a helmet on a hot day can contribute to being uncomfortable and will not prevent you from having an accident.

However, if you are put in a position where you have an accident, without fault of your own, I hope you have chosen at that moment to wear a helmet and survive without a closed-head injury.

Unfortunately, none of us knows when that little old lady will turn left in front of us. Of course, she probably had the windows rolled-up in the beige Grand Marquis, had the air conditioner on full blast and didn't hear your horn because of the heat.

I really do get your point. Hope you get mine.