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Report all crimes, large and small
In the past month or so, the increasing number of small crimes occurring in my Union Hill neighborhood have been on a significant and personal rise. My own property has not been impacted, as far as I know, but we take additional precautions with some solid fence improvements, gates that are closed at night and a large barking dog that lets everyone know when he sees or hears someone on the property that he does not know.
Neighbors on both sides of me and on surrounding streets have discovered that various levels of theft have occurred on their property as well as in or around their vehicles. One neighbor, up at 1 a.m. with an 8-week-old baby, looked out to see a man going through one of the cars in his driveway.
I was honestly shocked when several neighbors affected by crime told me they did not report the crimes to 911 at the time they occurred. The reasons varied: it was late at night; they did not want to bother the police with such a small problem; the guy going through their car was just looking for change, obviously homeless and they did not want to get him in trouble; and so on.
It has always been my own personal policy to report any crime that occurs however big or small. I understand that I am not in any sort of position to prioritize any crime. However, it is my very important position and responsibility to report it to those that can by calling 911.
Bremerton Police Department Captain Tom Wolfe was kind enough to pass on some advice to me regarding what the police department would prefer that residents who are victims of such crime do when it does occur.
Report crimes to 911, large or small, immediately. CenCom triages all incoming calls and places them into a priority basis that are dispatched and responded to in kind.
Higher priority calls have resources directed to them first, but officers do eventually get to the lower priority calls. At times, they will contact the caller themselves or have dispatch do it if there is going to be a delay.
There is a perception that would have callers believe that all officers do all day is respond to high priority calls and that low priority calls are a bother. That is NOT the Bremerton Police Department belief. Many times there is an officer not that far away and will be right on top of the issue if dispatched.
Please allow officers the opportunity of stopping a crime in progress or future crimes by reporting it immediately. This is what they are here to do.
Give the 911 dispatcher as many descriptive details as possible. Height, weight, skin color, clothing, facial hair, hair coloring, a license plate if possible or the direction of travel.
Remember that the block watch concept is very basic. You, as a resident, become the eyes and ears for the police department. Criminals who know they are being watched will go elsewhere.
Ensuring that city resources are allocated or budgeted towards active community solutions requires that data be collected to show that a problem exists in the first place. If crimes are not reported, solutions will be few and far between until they are brought to police attention. Help your community by reporting crimes.