GUEST COLUMN: Communication is key to safety

By the Williston Community Safety Committee

When a community member is aware of a local concern, what do you do, whom do you tell?

Communication is the key to a safe community. Police cannot be everywhere all of the time, nor can we do something about every piece of information that we come in contact with. However, passing along information is key to being involved with what happens around you.

As a resident, you may see activity that just doesn’t feel right or is suspicious. Don’t hesitate to call your police department to report this type of activity. At the very least, the information is documented. Maybe nothing is happening right when you saw this activity, but it might link the police to other crime or crime that someone isn’t aware of yet. It is never a waste of time to speak with local authorities about things that you see or hear.

Community members need to become acquainted with their neighbors. Pass along bits of information that aren’t right in your neighborhood so that they can also be aware. The more eyes we have in a community and the more involved everyone is, the less likely offenders are to target your neighborhood.

Information collected by police is documented and followed up on. It might not always reach top priority with your local officials immediately, but you can be assured that whoever takes your information passes it along to officers on shift. If your concerns warrant an officer responding to your local neighborhood to look into a situation, they will do that. In some cases, officers will simply call you back to get additional information. Sometimes, the information will just be documented, but police often work in an environment of putting all of the pieces of a puzzle together. Your information might finish putting a puzzle together or stop an offender from committing a crime.

Think about establishing a neighborhood watch in your area so that you can become familiar with your neighbors and join forces to overcome an offender’s desire to commit a crime.

The Williston Community Safety Committee is comprised of Williston fire, police, school and state police officials and a community member who meet approximately every month.