SEE IT. REPORT IT.
There is some consensus on social media that reporting things to the police department is often a waste of the department’s precious resources. We all know that there is a shortage of personnel and in some cases restrictions on funding.
On the matter, I was gracious to be given a phone interview with Captain David Bever of the Gautier Police Department, Supervisor of the Patrol Division with 17 years of experience with GPD.
When asked the question of what citizens need to report and/or not report, he replied: “ The public needs to understand we can’t be everywhere at once. We depend on them to call us and let us know any activity going on, so we try to stop it. Call us!”
Some people have the opinion that calling the police over something small is a waste of the department’s resources. However, Captain Bever disagrees.
“But the more information we have, the better chances of stopping what’s happening,” he explained. “We are open 24/7, so feel free to call us, this is what we are paid to do.”
Remember a small tip can lead to a large investigation and prevent violence if we the public report enough information.
If you see something going on, call your local police department’s non-emergency line. For Gautier, that is (228)497-2486. Please look up your local police number and keep it handy.
Like the DHS slogan, “If you see something. Say something.” It is up to us citizens to help and assist the police departments with our eyes and ears. One way to create more public involvement is to start a neighborhood watch in your area. Call your local police department for help in starting a neighborhood watch on your street.
While it is up to law enforcement to determine if a behavior warrants investigation, there is still no reason not to report. But of course, use your common sense when calling the police.
911 calls are for active crimes in progress, fire, accident, medical emergency, and suspicious activity that may be leading to an imminent crime.
Look up and program into your phone your local enforcement agency’s number for non-emergencies. The Non-emergency number is for reporting: distracted drivers, noise violations, theft after the fact, suspicious ongoing activity [people in your trash can], juveniles malicious mischief [throwing things in your yard], illegal dumping, drone activity, suspected drug or gang activity.
Always get as much information as you can safely, never involve yourself in the activity. Get pictures if safely possible. Report as soon as you are in a safe place, off the road or back in your house.
We the people owe our support to the law enforcement agencies, and this is how we can do it.