January, 1, 2016 Reno Nevada The City Of Reno Police Department has a Community Action Officer that have started off the new year right reaching out to Community leaders and individual citizens who have suffered from crime.
Officers from the Reno Police Department have been visiting homes in neighborhoods that have seen spikes in crime to ask neighbors and victims alike wha can be done in their opinion to help reduce the crime problem.
Officers are also giving advice on community resources available to it’s citizens that people may be unaware of t help them out. They visited about 45 families so far according to RGC.com
“We want to make sure we’re hearing the community,” said Reno councilman Oscar Delgado, who went with some of the officers. “Sometimes the community has better ideas than we do.”
The Department assigns Officers to go to neighborhoods that are in distress that have suffered spikes in criminal activity to assist it’s citizens called ‘contact teams’. Police are hoping that these contacts between Officers and residents will have a positive impact allowing better cooperation and communication between the people that they serve and themselves.
“Being out here, people get to humanize the badge. They see we’re regular people,” said Officer Juan Lopez, one of the handful of Reno police community action officers who visited homes.
Some of the areas residents were grateful for the exchanges that they had with Officers and offered suggestions, some were uncooperative and would not even open the door while some were just happy that the Officers were trying to make a difference.
76-year-old Francisco Beccerra-Rodriguez spoke with officers in Spanish, telling them that he feels safer with the police visiting the neighborhood. “We are neighbors,” Lopez told Beccerra-Rodriguez in Spanish after finding out that Beccerra-Rodriguez was from a town in Mexico only 20 minutes away from wear Lopez was born. Lopez told the Officer “I don’t see you as a police officer. I see you as a friend.”
Nevada has a program that was established since 1979 called “secret witness” It can be accessed by residents to report criminal activity to Police and keep all information anonymous. It can be accessed on line through the link provided or by calling 775-322-4900. There are apps available for both Itunes and Android phones as well on the site to make reporting activity easier.
Secret Witness’s mission statement is as follows: Too often in the past, vital information on crimes failed to reach the police because the people who held it feared retaliation or did not want to testify in court. Secret Witness was created to provide an avenue for community members to provide information on a crime, while remaining anonymous.
As well as going door to door in neighborhoods the Reno Police Chief met with community leaders and posted the following on the Reno Police Department Facebook page regarding the event:
Today Reno Police Chief Jason Soto and Reno City Councilmen Oscar Delgado joined Community Action Officers and community leaders in reaching out to the North Reno Community near Pat Baker Park to address the increase in violent crimes in the area. The residents in the area were very receptive to Officers and Community Leaders and gave us a lot of helpful ideas to better help them keep the criminal element out of their neighborhood.