Ask the Cop: Investigations and Neighborhood Watch
Master Police Officer Christopher Tidmore elaborates on two questions that were asked by Patch readers last week.
Have you ever had a question for a police officer but never had the opportunity to ask one? Well, here is your chance.
"Ask the Cop" is a partnership with the Leesburg Police Department. Every week we will submit your questions to Master Police Officer Christopher Tidmore and he will answer them to the best of his ability. Below are two questions we received last week:
Q: Does the Leesburg Police Department choose not to release some of there investigations? Concluded cases?
A: Investigations of significance that could impact the community, could be an issue of public safety, when the department is looking for public assistance in identifying suspects or asking witnesses of an incident to call are the general guidelines used when determining if and when a press release is issued. The Leesburg Police Department cannot control the media. Just because a press release is issued does not guarantee it will be used by the television stations or the newspapers. This is true for press releases announcing "breaking news" or one giving information on a case closure.
To help get information to the Leesburg community, the Leesburg Police Department posts all of our press releases on the police departments web page under "news items." Web links are posted on our Facebook page and anyone that subscribes to the Community Watch list serve receives all press releases by email.
It is important that we communicate with our community as we work to keep the town as safe as possible. We are restricted with some information we can share when dealing with active cases. We do not want to compromise investigations.
By communicating with the public, rumors can be replaced with fact, witnesses can be found and suspects can be identified with our citizens help.
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Q: Currently, my neighborhood does not have a watch program put in place. However, I feel I am constantly calling the police due to suspicious activity or noisy neighbors. Do the police mind it when we call something like this in?
My second question is how would we go about getting a Neighborhood Watch program put into place and how does that differ from us being on the lookout any other time?
A: The department does not mind receiving calls such as this. It's our job to respond and assist with any situation called in by our citizens. And you never know what an officer might discover responding to a call, even one like you described.
If you would like to start a Community Watch program in a Leesburg neighborhood, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a question for the Officer Tidmore? Please send them to email@example.com or post them below this article. The next column is scheduled to post two weeks from today. The deadline to submit your questions is Friday, June 8 by noon.