Please enjoy this weekly edition of "View of the Week" on Civic Leadership:
We also waned to report on some tips on Crime Prevention courtesy of our hometown, Laguna Niguel's, Police Services:
Head-to-toe Suspect Description
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department responds to thousands of calls for service every year in Laguna Niguel. These calls vary from traffic accidents, crime reports and suspicious persons, to serious crimes in progress such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults. In most instances, a crime or suspicious circumstance involves a specific person, who may be the suspect responsible for the crime. Criminals flee the scene of their crimes in a hurry to avoid being captured by the police, however in many cases, it is the victims and witnesses who observed the suspect, that are able to make the escape only a temporary one. A key to capturing criminal offenders in these highly mobile times, is the prompt and accurate reporting of important suspect information.
If you observe a crime in progress or suspicious activity, it is important to call 911 immediately. Calling 911 will automatically display your address and phone number to the dispatcher, which will allow you to proceed directly to the crime information. If you saw a suspect or a suspicious person, the first questions you will hear from the dispatcher are, “What did the person look like? Can you describe him/her to me?” For some reason, this simple question causes many callers to freeze, as they try to organize their thoughts, memories, and visual pictures into a sentence that is both helpful and timely. The description of a suspect is very important for responding officers, as they scan streets in the immediate area on their way to the crime scene. A simple method for observing and remembering the complete description of a suspect or a suspicious person is “head-to-toe”. Start at the head and observe hair color, hair style or a hat being worn. Move down to the face and neck area and note facial complexion, any facial hair, tattoos, scars, markings, or jewelry. If you heard the person speak, describe any accent or distinguishing speech patterns. Continue to the upper torso with a detailed clothing description. Observe the type and color of the shirt, and any distinct print or pattern. Examine the arms and hands for tattoos, markings, or jewelry. Move to the lower torso with a detailed clothing description including belt color, pant color, condition, and any distinct design or print. End with the shoes and note color, condition and any distinct design or print. Organizing the information from observation to reporting will allow officers to receive a complete and timely suspect description and hopefully facilitate a quick capture. Practice makes perfect so have a good time describing your coworkers to one another after a short observation period!