The value of cooperative relationships was demonstrated recently when the Peninsula Detachment of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department received a tip from Safe Streets Community Mobilization Specialist Dennis Taylor regarding suspected drug activity at a house on the Key Peninsula.
Allen Myron, department investigator, said, “The tip was very specific to include the physical address, suspicious activity, and even included persons known to be at the residence. As a result of the subsequent investigation, probable cause was developed for a search warrant.”
The warrant was executed on Sept. 23, with several people arrested on suspicion of narcotics-related activities.
“This is an excellent example of the community and law enforcement partnering together to achieve the mutual goal of improved public safety,” Myron said.
Asked what information does the sheriff’s office need in a crime tip, Myron said, “The best way I can answer that is to say, details, details, and more details. We can respond much more quickly when we receive detailed and credible information as to the suspected activity.” An anonymous call just saying that the location has traffic at “all hours of day and night” may not be sufficient.
Citizens, however, may report the information to Safe Streets instead, which will then send the tips on to law enforcement officials.
“This is a classic example of how it can work. People who call in crime tips can be assured of complete anonymity with Safe Streets, without fear of retaliation,” Taylor said.
Citizens who suspect unlawful activity are also encouraged to call Community Service Officer Emily Watson, who recently was added to the detachment personnel. Watson said even if a crime is not committed and therefore a report cannot be generated, she can record the information so the department can track patterns.
“I think this event was a great example of how problems can be solved when citizens and law enforcement team up to tackle a problem,” Watson said.
Myron mentioned another example earlier this year, when the agency received a tip with specific information. “I contacted the reporting party and a day later an arrest was made and the problem was resolved,” he said. “Many cases are solved as a direct result of information provided by members of the community. They can literally act as our eyes and ears and provide vital information in regard to crimes they have witnessed as well as suspicious activity.”
To confidentially and anonymously report a crime tip, call Safe Streets at 884-7899. Include as much information as possible:
- A contact person as the reporting party with phone numbers for contact;
- The specific address of the activity (house number and street name) or specific description;
- A list of license plates of people known to reside at the incident address;
- A list of license plates logged with dates, times and duration of visits.
To contact Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Peninsula Detachment CSO Emily Watson, call 798-4940.