Friday, June 6, 2008

Eyes in the night

A couple posts this week about (shall we say) "unusual" police calls should not leave anyone with the impression that this is typical. In the huge volume of events we handle, police officers inevitably deal with a lot of stuff that is peculiar and bizarre (and sometimes quite humorous). But the vast, vast majority of citizens who need our services exercise exceedingly good judgement: they use the valuable public resource wisely and judiciously.

They also help us--and their fellow citizens--regularly. A common example was brought to my attention by Capt. Jim Thoms, who suggested this post. The case occurred on Wednesday morning at 4:50 AM, when a man and wife noticed two men who were prowling in the area of 11th and D Streets. The couple watched these men walking up and down 10th and 11th Street opening car doors. They called the police, and the Southwest Team officers swooped in and scooped up two suspects who had entered seven cars, and stolen property from three.

This is a frequent occurrence, and our late shift officers are often helped by citizens who notice unusual goings-on in the wee hours and call the police. It's the most common way we catch suspects in the act of car break-ins, and also results in interrupting many other types of crime. I am convinced, for example, that it's the primary factor in reducing construction site thefts in Lincoln.

What was especially gratifying about this case was the location. These events happened in the core of the City--right in the area where we have some of the greatest challenges and where we are working hard with the Stronger Safer Neighborhoods project. This is the area where we most need the help of residents. Lincoln doesn't have many police officers. Watchful citizens are important to the community's protection, and we appreciate the partnership of so many people in Lincoln who are willing to be our eyes in the night.


Anonymous said...

Let's be completely honest here. We don't clear very many crimes without the assistance of citizens in some manner. Police patrol methods and numbers of cruisers driving in an area have very little effect on crime rates. Shoot, we can probably prevent more crimes by parking a cruiser in the lot at 10th and South then getting out and shaking doors! At least that slows people down and gets them to stop for red lights.

Anonymous said...

We get all kinds of 'tips' from paper delivery people, early morning exercisers and anyone else that is out early in the morning with a cell phone. Most of them are pain in the butt nothing calls, but every now and then, we strike gold and clear up a bunch of larcenies from auto, vandalisms and even the occasional burglary from one of those calls and it makes it all worth it.

Stay in school.

Anonymous said...

All I ever needed to know about law enforcement and working a beat was a song I learned from Sesame Street.

All together now.
"Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?
The people that you meet each day"

Anonymous said...

Was it a citizen call that alerted you to A8-054054? Let's see...frogs, garter snakes, shotgun. I don't remember seeing shotguns growing here in the creek before! Gimme that phone. Not surprisingly, our "great" local paper seems to have missed this recovery. Was the weapon recently stolen?

Tom Casady said...


Kids going swimming at the pool spotted it. Turns out to be a .22 Remington. Too much rust to get the serial number at this point, so can't say if it's stolen right now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I thought it might be the Supernova that got lifted recently. That one stuck in my mind because it was stolen from a vehicle, in the Near South area I think.

Anonymous said...

My error, the Benelli was stolen from the Air Park area, not Near South.