Yesterday, I had an opportunity to speak with a concerned citizen about issues regarding crime, our community, and how she can get involved and make a difference. This is a great conversation to have, even if the impetus was crime and incidents in Lafayette that we do not like. I’m hoping that all of you (or at least some of you) are having that same kind of feeling, that you want to keep Lafayette a great community and as safe as possible, but just don’t know where to start.
If you are reading this, then you are exactly at the right place to take that second step. You are engaged in your Nextdoor neighborhood, communicate to your neighbors about issues affecting your community, and reading the posts by other neighbors and the police to make yourself more aware of what is happening around you. But what is next?
In my opinion, the next step is to leverage your own social network, your social circle outside of your Nextdoor community. I’m sure we all know friends, family, and acquaintances that live in Lafayette but are not signed up on Nextdoor and in their neighborhood. They do not follow the police department on Nixle (www.nixle.com) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/LafayetteINPD or @LafayetteINPD) to get information that can keep them safe, away from frustrating traffic issues and events, and abreast of what the police department is doing to combat criminal and nuisance behavior in OUR community. They may not know those resources exist. We need to be spreading the word! Encourage the people in your life to be part of the solution and not just sit on the sidelines, watching the show.
The Mayor, police department, and other city agencies are only a handful, a small percentage, of the greater Lafayette community. We can only do so much, know so much, and have enough time to effectively deal with the criminal and nuisance issues that you and your neighborhoods might be experiencing. If we don’t know about it, we may only have an opportunity to confront an issue if we happen upon it or get information from another source that leads us to that particular issue. YOU know your neighborhoods and what should and should not be going on there. Don’t stay silent. Report suspicious behavior and criminal activity. We would prefer that you feel comfortable giving your name, but if you don’t, please report anonymously to the non-emergency police number (807-1200) or the WeTip Hotline (800-78-CRIME). Your information could be the tipping point for your block or even your neighborhood’s fight for a better community.
Thank you very much for reading this and doing your part. Some of you are doing more than your part and a special thanks to you. Your efforts may not be recognized nearly as much as they should, but what you have done (and continue to do) is what makes Lafayette a great place to live and will keep this community great for our children.
Lt. Brian Gossard
Community Outreach and Crime Prevention