The failure of law enforcement and parole officers to tell neighbors about a registered sex offender in their neighborhood has been costly for the Dugard Family and the California taxpayer. (“Kidnapping victim, kids to get $20 million payout” San Francisco Chronicle 7-2-10).
As a crime and violence prevention consultant, many of us advocate citizen involvement to keep neighborhoods safe. Many officers disregard the importance of connected neighbors and assume they, alone, can discover neighborhood problems.
Officers need to work with residents!
In my 40 years of working with neighbors, many officers use the excuse, “people might become vigilantes.” As a neighborhood organizer and former Contra Costa County crime prevention coordinator, I never saw anyone become a vigilante if they had accurate information and knew what to do. If the sheriff’s department had communicated with neighbors, there would have been a different outcome for Jaycee Dugard and her family… many years ago.
Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Safe Kids Now!