Townhall meeting at police department gives a positive outlook
At a townhall-style meeting put on by the Quincy Police Department on April 18, seven attendees had the chance to ask questions and discuss the department’s 2018 Annual Report, which was in many ways encouraging.
For those who missed the meeting at the police station, the printed report is available in English and in Spanish through the Police Department, and it is available to read at the front counter of the Post-Register office, 305 Central Ave. S, in English and Spanish.
Besides Siebert, Captain Ryan Green and Sergeant Julie Fuller were present to answer questions.
Looking back at 2018, Siebert is especially pleased about the improved connection between the public and the police department. Keeping the information flowing both ways improves the safety of the community and the efficiency of the law enforcement agency.
“Unless I was in a meeting, I have never turned anyone away who wished to speak to me,” Siebert stated in his report.
The PD now has an advisory board, consisting of community members. The board is composed of two city residents, one school district representative and one student.
With the cooperation of such community entities as the school district, Quincy Valley Hospital, Quincy Community Health Center, Quincy Partnership of Youth, Catholic Charities and many others, the police force is striving to keep Quincy sustainable and healthy.
In 2018, the department also added a piece of equipment to the police officers’ daily uniform gear: the body camera. These devices, worn by each officer, have proven to be a significant aide in accurately recalling incidents and saving the city money, according to the annual report.
Some of the other additions in 2018 were personnel: six patrol officers, a police clerk and a captain. The PD also acquired two volunteers, one as a public information officer and another as a community relations specialist.
“We don’t hire just to fill the position,” Siebert pointed out in his report. ”We test, complete thorough backgrounds and, if they pass, a polygraph test is completed. Most of all, we look for those who have a heart for the community and want to genuinely serve.”
The department is also getting ready to introduce a different kind of an officer: a drug-sniffing canine. The vehicle is all ready for the new arrival; the only problem is getting him trained. At the moment, the Quincy PD is on a waiting list with the Department of Corrections for canine training. The human officer assigned for the duty is Mike Stump.
Siebert wanted to make sure the dog has air conditioning and heat available in the vehicle in which it travels.
“I don’t want to be the one who kills the dog due to excessive heat,” Siebert pointed out. “I love dogs.”
The attendees had some concerns to bring to the meeting. Several Crescent Bar residents were wondering if Quincy is safe to visit at night. Siebert assured them that it is.
According to Siebert, Quincy has low crime statistics, the gang activity has gone down, and last year there were only three drive-by shootings.
A Quincy resident expressed her dismay over a noisy neighbor, referring to long-term loud radio playing that she has been forced to listen to when she is out in her yard.
“We can write a ticket,” Green responded.
The same resident also asked if the 911 responders are trained in the geographical layout of the city. Siebert assured her that they are, and that Grand and Douglas County police departments help each other.
The Crescent Bar visitors were also wondering about the extent of the speed-limit restrictions due to the construction on State Route 28. At White Trail Road, the speed is reduced to 50 miles per hour. Siebert said that since it has been designated as 50 miles per hour, it will remain that way unless otherwise marked.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register