Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lodi Police Officer Turns Journalist To Get The Message Out

The Lodi News-Sentinel has a column called Behind The Badge that is written by Lt. Chris Piombo of the Lodi, California Police Department. In this piece, Piombo analyzes local vehicle burglary trends in order to get the word out to the community he serves.
There were 38 auto burglaries in the city of Lodi between Oct. 8 and Nov. 8. That's about one burglary per day in a city of over 60,000 residents. Pretty good. And that's the second-lowest monthly total for the past year. Pretty good times two. 
Here are some shared factors I found among those 38 burglaries. Think about them as you decide where to park your car. 
As expected, the vast majority of the burglaries occurred at night. Suspects mostly broke into cars parked on the street or in the driveway. Thirteen of the thefts occurred during the daylight hours. Sixteen break-ins occurred in shopping center, restaurant, or bank parking lots. Parking lots open to the public, with customers walking around pushing shopping carts. We often wonder how the thieves do it. Are they specters who materialize in our dimension for a nanosecond, bust your window, swipe your purse, then slither back into that parallel universe where Spock wears a moustache?
The piece offers a good analysis of the vehicle burglary problem in Lodi along with information on how the public can avoid becoming a victim of this crime. Both Lodi Police and the Lodi News-Sentinel are doing a great job in informing the community of crime problems in the community with this column.

Many police agencies are harnessing tools such as social media in order to better communicate with the citizens they serve. Becoming a regular news columnist with the local paper is another way to connect with the community, albeit a pretty unique one.

How is your agency communicating with the community you serve?

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