John Howell 2/19/16

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 19, 2016

Better understanding of demands on law officers goal of report

One of our goals with the first publication of the extensive report that starts on page A1 of sheriff’s department activities is to help us better understand the sheer volume of calls for service placed with the law enforcement agency.

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The reports are a spin-off of a column published in this space December 8 about listening to the non-stop radio traffic between sheriff’s deputies and dispatchers as they are directed from one location to the next to respond to calls for service from the public.

Sheriff Dennis Darby embraced the idea as soon as we approached him with an open records request for the offense/incident reports each deputy completes after responding to a complaint.

Not only do we believe that our readers have a right to know what’s going on with our sheriff’s department, we also believe that if we are better informed, we will also be less likely to take their tasks for granted.

A better informed public will also be in a better position to assist the sheriff’s department in curbing crime. If a reader in the Pleasant Grove community, for example, has read that several four-wheelers have been stolen in the Mt. Olivet community, the reader is more likely to pay attention to the vehicle driving slowly down his own road, as though scouting for unattended off-road vehicles in his community.