By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski
Crime prevention often starts with residents buying into the possibility that bad things could happen in their communities. By reporting suspicious activity and eliminating easy targets, residents can help local law enforcement develop leads and even solve the crimes if not prevent them altogether. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says law enforcement and citizens working together can help make for better communities.
You can read the rest of Joski’s Sheriff’s Corner online with this story.
A while back I wrote about crime prevention and the role that we all play in keeping our communities safe. We all have a stake in the preservation of the quality of life we experience in our daily lives. Many times we begin to take on a false sense of security believing that crimes could not occur in our communities.
We do however have crimes which are committed and most times, law enforcement is able to develop leads and ultimately solve these cases. I wanted to revisit the issue of crime prevention and hopefully bring to bear the increased awareness of the community in helping to both solve these incidents as well as prevent those in the future.
The first component to Crime Prevention is reporting suspicious activity. Many times we may see something that looks out of ordinary, or is in fact downright suspicious. Unfortunately many times we do not go any further due to our busy lives, or our desire not involve ourselves in someone else’s business. For there to be effective crime prevention, we all need to realize our obligation to our neighbors and our communities, and this may mean that sometimes we get involved by calling in suspicious persons or activity. Once law enforcement responds there are two possible outcomes. The first is that the person or activity has a legitimate purpose and we can wish them well and move on. The second is that the person or activity is in fact suspicious and our contact with them could lead to the solving of a past crime or better yet the prevention of a future crime. The bottom line is we all need to be a part of the solution.
The second part to Crime Prevention is eliminating easy targets. While I would love to say we can live in a community where we do not lock our doors, I would be openly encouraging an environment of easy targets. There is an old saying that locks keep out the honest people, and there is some truth to that. While there will always be those people in our midst who may be inclined to steal, the more barriers we can put before them the more we limit their access to our valuables. If nothing else the barriers will force them to expend more effort in the commission of their crime increasing the likelihood that they will be noticed.
These barriers are very simple. They include preventions such as: Locking doors of buildings and vehicles. Securing valuables, whether that is a piece of equipment in the yard or valuables in your home or vehicle. Making a record of your valuables so that if taken they can be more accurately reported and effectively recovered. The most important barrier is to be part of your community by noticing and if need be reporting those things that seem out of the ordinary. We should be very proud of the high quality of law enforcement we have in our communities, but we would be negligent by saying we can do it all. A community where law enforcement and citizens work together always has been and always will be a better community.