See Something, Say Something

Quinn says tips from citizens are key

Sometimes residents of Fort Dodge, or any other Webster County community, may notice something in their neighborhood that just doesn’t seem right.

Perhaps it’s a person walking between the houses. Or maybe it’s a car that doesn’t belong to any of the neighbors that keeps turning up at odd hours.

Someone seeing anything like that may ask themselves “Should I call the police?’

The answer to that question is always yes, according to Fort Dodge Police Chief Dennis Quinn.

“You don’t bother us when you call us,” he said during a Thursday evening town hall meeting on crime prevention. “We love it when you guys call.”

Quinn and Webster County Sheriff Luke Fleener answered questions from the crowd of about 100 people gathered at First Presbyterian Church, 1111 Fifth Ave. N., for the town hall meeting sponsored by the Safe Communities Coalition, a project of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.

The Safe Communities Coalition is introducing a See Something, Say Something campaign. Quinn and Fleener stressed just how important communication between citizens and law enforcement officers is.

Quinn said no one knows the people and the vehicles of a neighborhood better than the people who live there. For that reason, the neighborhood residents will be the first to know if something isn’t right, he said.

He said residents should not feel that they are “bothering” the police by reporting something that doesn’t seem right.

“You are not bothering us,” he said.

He said information relayed to police by citizens can be key to solving crimes.

But even if the act of reporting something doesn’t solve a crime it still creates an opportunity for citizens to interact with the police in a positive way, he added.

“That’s you getting to know your officers who work for you,” Quinn said.

Fleener said people often seem to have a natural instinct to avoid getting involved in anything by making a report. He said part of that may be based on a fear of retaliation. It’s a fear that is unfounded, he said.

Fleener said he did narcotics investigations for more than a decade and worked with confidential informants. He said during that time, none of those informants were hurt or killed even as they helped to put drug dealers behind bars.


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