Are you getting sick and tired of drug and alcohol activity in your neighborhood? Are you fed up? Are you willing to do something about it?
When you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call the police. Call them right away. Don't wait too long. Don't think, "I'll just call them next time." Call them this time.
Above all else, keep yourself in the clear. If you can get a vehicle description and a look at the occupants, fine. Get the license plate number.
Report it to the police. In Woodstock the number is 815.338.2131 Request an officer to come and check it out. If the vehicle pulls away shortly after you call, call the police back and tell the dispatcher where it went. It could be that the occupants of the vehicle have a police scanner and hear the telecommunicator dispatch the call.
Tell the dispatcher not to put your name or address out over the radio but, instead, to have the officer telephone headquarters for that information.
If you want to speak to the officer, consider whether you want the officer to come to your residence or if you want to drive to police headquarters and meet him or her there.
Residents in Woodstock are getting involved. Locations of suspicious activity are being identified.
Recently one resident reported such activity. Before the officer could arrive, the suspicious car pulled away. The resident called back to the police and reported where the car was. The officer investigated and arrested two occupants of the vehicle and had the car towed.
Now, what can the Woodstock Police Department do to show appreciation for citizen cooperation?
1. If the citizen asked what happened, tell him. Yes, certain information can be withheld, but the gist of the reason for the arrests and towing of the vehicle become public record. If the citizen wants to know, tell him the charges and when and where he can learn more, such as names of those arrested and their court dates. And why the car was impounded. That's how you get more help next time!
2. Put out a press release. Give it promptly to the newspapers and put it on the police department's website.
3. City: put a link or banner on the City's homepage to direct residents and other website visitors to new press releases posted "several clicks down" on the PD's webpage.
There was what appeared to be a major arrest on September 8. Certainly more important than a few car windows getting shot out with BBs and slingshots. The police department has said that crime information is released within three days of an arrest.
Maybe it was buried in the numerous crime reports published weekly by The Woodstock Independent, but it seems like such an arrest might be worthy of its own story.