It’s not a bother to report suspicious activity
In reviewing some of the statistics as the year draws to a close, I reviewed the number of “anonymous” complaints that we receive.
Since the beginning of 2015 we received 98 of these types of complaints. While we are encouraged that people are compelled to take action and call when they observe suspicious activity, we also want to assist in the understanding of the limitations we have when the caller wishes to remain anonymous.
We receive many calls throughout the year from people who witness what they would consider suspicious behavior and feel that they are bothering law enforcement by calling it in. Please know that we have and will continue to respond to any report of suspicious activities by a citizen, no matter what time of day or night. It is these observations that many times lead to the prevention of a crime or, in many cases, assist in the investigation of an ongoing case.
When calling dispatch to report such events, please know that you have some options. If you would like to make a report and remain anonymous, that is one option. You can also call in and give your name, but request to remain confidential. In both of these scenarios, we will still send officers, but will have to base any law enforcement action on our observations.
The third option is to call in a report and give your name along with your observations. This allows officers to take action based on your statement. You can utilize either the direct line to dispatch at 920-388-7108 or the Kewaunee County Crime Stoppers Hotline at 920-388-0440.
If I were to give what I consider to be the best option, of course it would be to provide your name and contact information. Not only does this information create a partnership between you and our department for more effective investigation, it also provides a mechanism for feedback so that you can be contacted as to what our actions were and the disposition of the incident.
The important thing to remember is to report the suspicious activity. Please do not think that you are bothering us, as this is the very reason we exist — to serve our communities. This may result in us responding to situations which are not criminal, but it may also result in developing information which could make the difference in keeping someone safe or solving an existing case.
The fact that there are concerned citizens who will not hesitate to contact law enforcement when they observe suspicious activity should serve as a deterrent to those contemplating criminal activity. Please know that law enforcement is here to respond to your calls for assistance, and that we will never consider it a bother.
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County Sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: It’s not a bother to report suspicious activity