Robert Peel wrote about 200 years ago “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.” In fact, quite the opposite is true. Police cars racing around, code 3, with red lights and sirens blaring is not comforting to most communities. Having a SWAT team on your lawn while they conduct a raid on the neighbors home does note make people feel better about their community.
People want to have efficient police services, but they don’t want to have to think about them. The want criminals to go to jail but they would rather have no criminals at all. It is important for us to inform the public when we make arrests, but people really want to see crime decrease and their communities to be safe places to live. If there is crime it is the duty of the police to suppress and control it. There is no point in a city having great schools if the kids are assaulted in the classroom. There is no reason to live near a park that is overrun with gangsters and drug dealers.
One way to reduce crime is to insure convictions of those we do arrest. The initial response should be quick, information gathered and the crime scene processed professionally. Too many crimes are not processed by a crime scene investigator. A car broken into in the driveway of someone’s home may not be the crime of the century to the responding officer, but it’s a big deal to the victim. Careful investigations lead to convictions and that gets crooks off the street; that’s what the SGT Says.