Chief of Police emphasizes community involvement at townhall meeting
The townhall-style meeting at Faith Community Church in Quincy on May 14 was open to all, in person and via Facebook, and had an upbeat tone.
At the beginning of the meeting, Chief of Police Kieth Siebert introduced the new deputy city administrator, Pat Haley. In his brief speech, Haley mentioned that Siebert has created an atmosphere within the department that the officers want to stay on and serve Quincy.
Siebert reported that service calls were up in the whole county, as were arrests within the city. The Police Department has increased its traffic enforcement and overall presence. Last year entailed fewer collisions and less malicious mischief.
The department is making more traffic stops.
“Bad people get from point A to point B in vehicles,” Siebert said.
Besides bad people, bad substances also travel in cars.
Siebert pointed out the never-ending circle: Thefts and burglaries can lead to stolen items being sold or exchanged for drugs. We can assume that as long as there are buyers for drugs, there will be dealers.
Siebert encourages the community to report anything of concern. The reporting individual does not have to reveal their identity.
In terms of drugs, a drug-sniffing canine will be working in the department later this year. Donations from the community amounted to $20,000, for which Siebert is grateful. The canine officer will go to training in August.
Immigration issues are always complicated. Siebert pointed out that the Quincy Police Department does not get involved in border patrol. It does cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; for example if there is a pick-up order, the QPD offers a safety escort.
He is working toward building trust between undocumented residents and the Police Department.
In order to make Quincy safer still, bicycle patrols will soon start rolling along the streets. They will operate in teams of two, in three shifts.
“You can see a car coming, but you will not see the bikes,” Siebert said.
The QPD is trying to keep the lines of communication open with the community it serves, including on Facebook and Twitter (@pdquincy). Disaster information can be found at #quincysafe.
Seibert feels that in the past year or so the residents of Quincy have become more comfortable in approaching the QPD through 20 community outreach events in 2018.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register