No Current Posts
Citizens can always see what type of crimes are occurring by reviewing our Public Information Activity Log. We strive for transparency and every call received goes on that log.
We are constantly analyzing crimes and calls coming in, and we adjust our operations accordingly. We work in a “need-to-know” environment and extend that to our partnership with the public. Please don’t confuse these crime trend alerts with the type of notifications and alerts we make in an emergency, or that could cause you physical harm. These will not be used to place anyone on lockdown or in place of an officer response to an immediate threat. Our crime trend alerts are part of an Intelligence Led Policing philosophy.
Sometimes, when armed with certain information, citizens can think of ways to better protect themselves or decide that this is the time to take protective actions they’ve been considering but delaying. They also might become more aware of their surroundings and, in turn, call in some suspicious activity that they would not have noticed otherwise.
Our decisions to issue proactive crime prevention tips through our PROTECT program are frequently because we see some type of spike in crime or there are other conditions in the community that we have determined that timing is right to give some advice. Interest and engagement are always good with these, but citizens never take these quite as serious as we would like. Rest assured, all of the public information we distribute is part of a strategy and the timing is intentional. Sometimes it could be as simple as knowing a burglar just got out of jail and his neighbors better lock their doors in case he was not rehabilitated during his stint.
When we have adequate information and determine a legitimate purpose for releasing an identified trend, we will post a crime trend to social media and this website. We do this cautiously, as not matter how carefully we frame these alerts, it increases anxiety in some people beyond reasonable levels. We are here to make you feel safe, not to scare you. Our partners in the mass media notice these alerts, and are likely to contact us for additional information. Sometimes it is something they will choose to cover. Just as we made certain judgements prior to issuing the alert, they assess the situation and decide if they want to make a story out of it. This helps us get our message out further, and also contributes to our balancing act of determining when the time is right.
Occasionally, victims of crime use their own resources to distribute information about an incident that made them a victim. They don’t want to see others become victims so they issue their own warnings. This is great and will contribute to everyone’s efforts that will reduce crime in our city. Sometimes, we don’t take actions we know we should until it happens to someone we know. Sometimes, however, the warnings take on a viral nature and some mile hysteria results. People start linking totally unrelated crimes together because they don’t have all the information.
One crime does not make a trend, and increases in crimes need further analysis before we can determine if pubic information is likely to impede our investigation or enhance it. There is no secret formula for this. In fact, this is our own terminology and public information policy that won’t even apply to another agency down the street. These are subjective determinations and we are the only ones with enough information to determine the timing. Please bear with us and make sure we are receiving first-hand information that might become available.
Social media has been great for allowing us to engage with our citizens, but it can also be a curse. Information can be spread quickly and easily, but not all of this information is credible or reliable. Our biggest challenge arises when we investigative reports of child abduction attempts. This is every parent’s worst nightmare, so they are often quick to pass along a report “just in case” it’s true. We take these reports very seriously and do not hesitate to issue warnings and alerts when appropriate. In these cases and all others, please help us with our “rumor control” efforts (we don’t try to take on every false rumor!). We encourage everyone to only pass along information from a credible source and don’t take what you’ve read on another site and repost it on your own. If the original poster determines they sent out bad info and removes it, it can continue to float forever. Sometimes, “rumor control” is in order because of unofficial information.
Thank you for your understanding and patience. If we keep these alerts in context we can all work together to make Piqua a really bad place to commit crimes!