301 W. Franklin Street
Taylorville, IL 62568
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FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK VOL 1 #4
THE EVOLUTION OF COMMUNITY POLICING: The widespread criminal activities of the 1980’s pointed out the need for rapid and widespread improvement in the methods of fighting crime. The programs that were developed featured a new approach of creating community interaction and support to help control crime, reduce fear, and bring a spirit of cooperation with law enforcement. By 1989, several cities were actively engaged in putting the new programs, most generally known as Community Policing, into place
The term signified a new view of the desirability of producing and maintaining proactive operations intended to prevent crime. Previously, traditional law enforcement practices were generally reactive and were principally concerned with such things as response times and arrest rates. The new programs actually worked to organize neighborhoods to help reclaim areas that were before often considered beyond help. Tried in small areas, community policing soon was often implemented citywide.
The city of Wichita, Kansas, one of the early programs to produce highly regarded successes, printed recognition of the new program on the back of each member’s business cards: “Our philosophy is the community policing model of treating everyone with dignity, courtesy, and respect while utilizing all available resources to solve problems.”
Today community policing is a proven model of success. The concept produces the highest level of benefits when public awareness of law enforcement personnel increases. This often means enlisting the public’s support through widespread educational programs and encouraging individuals to note and report suspicious activity.
That is why the Sheriff’s Office encourages our deputies to be seen by the public we are charged with protecting. We want our people to get out of their vehicles, to stay in touch with the public, to be recognized, not feared. Positive community interaction leads to information which in turn results in more effective policing.
We also meet on a regularly basis with our counterparts in local law enforcement in a round table discussion. These joint meetings allow us to share information between one another making us more effective in spotting trends. We also build a stronger working relationship which leads to mutual cooperation in providing the best possible service to the residents of Christian County. One example of this cooperation was seen in the recent drug round-up. Members of the Christian County Sheriff’s Office worked side by side with several law enforcement agencies to effect the arrest of a number of people wanted on narcotics related charges.
ASPHALT SCAM: Community policing also means working to insure that our citizens are kept aware of new threats, scams, frauds, and criminal activities, before they become victims.
The Asphalt Scam is an excellent example. This has been going on for years. Every spring, as we begin to see the problems and damages inflicted by winter, a virtual army of fraudsters sets out to capitalize on that public awareness.
The most typical effort brings a truck to your house. The driver tells you that they just finished a job elsewhere and they have more than enough leftover material to fix your driveway, just like new, at a very special price. But if you tell them to go ahead, the work is seldom done. In one noted instance, they simply put on a coating of black paint. If they do begin the work, often times the price suddenly increases dramatically. If the customer argues, the workers can become belligerent and threatening.
To help avoid these situations, we try to get the word out to you before any events like this begin. Our warning, published by the Breeze, about the details of the scam produced several calls to us. Undoubtedly, many of our citizens were spared a bitter experience.
ALCOHOL AWARENESS AND PROJECT STICKER SHOCK
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office was pleased to participate in “Project Sticker Shock” which was created by the education department of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. The aim of this program is to reduce the impact of alcohol consumption on our youth. We were pleased to participate in this project and to have the assistance of the Christian County Prevention Coalition.
We know the dangers of alcohol among these youngsters. Drinking before the age of 15 means the person is 5 times more likely to become an alcoholic. It also is likely to adversely affect attendance and performance in school, saddling the students with a lifetime of problems.
The Sticker Shock program is a fine example of the effort to warn youngsters, and adults alike, of the seriousness of the problem. I was pleased to visit various local establishments with some of our young people to place stickers, posters, and proof of age signs on alcoholic products and displays. This is extremely important because friends and family over the age of 21, the purchasers of these products, are the primary source of alcohol for underage drinking.
DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES 4 MONTHS. Good results, Citations up,