Weekly Feature

2018-02-08 / Editorial

Residents deserve frequent crime updates

Bee Editorial

After six months of being in the dark about crime in the community, West Seneca residents finally have a glimpse of what’s happening around them thanks to the 2017 Annual Report from the West Seneca Police Department.

This report details training received by the department, statistics on police calls, types of cases handled by the Detective Bureau, work done by the Family Offenses Unit, support given by public safety dispatchers, index crime rates, police use of force, false alarms, ticketing, the Stop DWI program, the efforts of school resource officers, responsibilities of special units and programs, and the department’s community service work.

While it’s commendable that the department has brought back this document, it’s more important for residents to have access to this type of information consistently, in the form of a community police blotter or press releases detailing more serious incidents.

In an email to The Bee, Chief of Police Daniel Denz stated that previous reports generated prior to his leadership were not widely distributed and therefore had little purpose and were eliminated. A lot like the police reports used to craft the weekly blotter.

Now, the departmental annual report is back, with new purpose for its existence.

The chief has said the report has merit if “distributed to the entire staff, as well as the Town Board and local news outlets.”

Given that the report has been provided to The Bee, and it is the responsibility of the staff to ensure an informed public, the report has been presented at length for the perusal of residents and concerned individuals in the town. It is our hope that you read the article in its entirety and contact Chief Denz with any comments, questions or concerns by emailing denz@westsenecapolice.org or calling 674-2943.

The purpose of this report is to allow administrators and elected officials a glimpse into the crime trends affecting the town, and we believe it will serve that purpose. What it cannot do is give warning to a street targeted with specific crimes, allow businesses to take heed when burglars are on a spree, inform parents of problems happening in other schools within the district, or alert drivers to the various violations involving vehicles on town roads.

This information, and much more not listed above, could be easily outlined in a police blotter, creating a more informed — and perhaps safer — community.

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