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Web letter by Jerry Vandeever: Community-oriented policing key to quelling violence

Our community has been shaken recently by many homicides and police shootings. As usual, everyone involved is being tried and convicted even before investigations have been completed. All of those involved are loved by many. If you support a police officer or an alleged perpetrator, then by all means, share the positive side of their lives with everyone, but don’t throw unfounded accusations around about an incident that is still under investigation.

It is always news if a police officer is involved in a notable action, but there is minimal coverage on positive actions unless the public shouts about it. From this day forward, if you feel a specific officer has gone beyond their regular job description to help you or someone else, find out their name and let their quadrant commander or sergeant know about it by email or phone. We need the positive notations of their career entered into their files as well as the disciplinary ones.

Many officers will give you their card with a cellphone number to call them if you want to share information or need their help. The officers who work your district are the ones who respond to your 911 call. If you have been sharing information with them, they will know exactly where the location is and, maybe, who is involved. When an officer drives down the street, the bad guys see them before they are seen. If he/she knows where to focus their attention (because of your information), they can observe them first and maybe prevent a crime or arrest a fugitive.

Share information with the officers in your area. Once you let them in, they become part of your neighborhood too and will work with you to get rid of the bad guys.

It’s called community-oriented policing, but it is not one sided; it takes the citizens and police, working together, to make it happen. We know it, firsthand. It worked with our neighborhood and continues today.

JERRY VANDEVEER

Fort Wayne

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