EPD uses social media to serve and protect | City Corner

By Al Compaan, Edmonds chief of police | Mar 17, 2016

“Hello. This is the Internal Revenue Service. There has been a lawsuit filed against you for tax evasion and tax fraud. You must contact us immediately.”

Really? Is this the IRS? Did I neglect to pay some taxes?

These calls have been going out by the thousands across the U.S. Have you received one? Did you call them back? Did you provide any personal information, such as name, date of birth or Social Security number?

Did you wire money to satisfy your “tax judgment”? These calls are totally a scam. Do not allow yourself to be a victim.

Be aware that the IRS does not make phone calls or send emails about taxes due, lawsuits or allegations of tax evasion.

The IRS sends taxpayer correspondence by regular mail. If you do receive one of these scam calls or scam emails, report it to the Federal Trade Commission by using their “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov.

In addition to my crime prevention tip, your Edmonds Police Department has been busy on a variety of fronts.

Our recruiting efforts have been successful in a competitive hiring environment, having attracted both entry level and lateral police officers to fill our open positions.

As part of our outreach, I encourage you to go to our website to take a look at the recruiting videos that have been produced within the past few months.

Two police officer positions reinstated in this year’s budget are destined for our Street Crimes Unit.

The unit will consist of a sergeant and two police officers who will concentrate on street level crime that impacts quality of life issues and the community’s feeling of safety and security. Crimes such as vehicle prowling, vandalism, organized shoplifting, prostitution and street level drugs will be priorities.

We are partnering with our Edmonds Police Foundation for purchase of a second police dog. The department will, in turn, select a second K-9 officer so this team can deploy with our existing K-9 team, giving us better response and search capability here in Edmonds as well as on a mutual aid basis to surrounding communities. It is our goal to have this second K-9 team online by fall.

I am proud of what EPD has done getting timely information to our residents on Twitter and Facebook.

Shortly after opening our Twitter account, we received a 911 call of a missing autistic juvenile. We were able to very quickly disseminate a description and photo of the subject and within two hours, we received a call that the missing person had just been seen walking along the Aurora Bridge in Seattle.

Our 911 caller had seen the information on Twitter. We were elated that the now found juvenile was quickly reunited with family.

Another benefit of using social media has been increased partnerships with our local media outlets.

In particular, we have worked closely with Q13’s Washington’s Most Wanted and Puget Sound Crime Stoppers at www.crimestoppers.com.

They have aired many of our wanted subjects and photographs from other cases, where suspects had yet to be identified.

Due to these partnerships and community involvement, our detectives have been able to identify and arrest several wanted criminals.

An example of this happened recently when, thanks to viewer tips, we identified two prolific burglars responsible for a rash of Edmonds break-ins.

The identification of those suspects made possible their quick arrests.

Finally, the Edmonds School District and the Edmonds Police Department are working toward reinstituting the school resource officer at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

This, too, was a very worthwhile endeavor that fell victim to the recession. But with renewed cost sharing by the district and the city, we look forward to having a uniformed police officer back at Edmonds-Woodway as soon as our staffing allows.

Our goal is Jan. 1, if not before.

The last word goes out to pedestrian safety. Pay attention to your surroundings, to traffic control devices, to crosswalks, not venturing out into the street unless it is safe.

Vehicle-pedestrian collisions happen quickly, nearly always involving injuries – or worse. Be a “defensive pedestrian,” and let’s make it a priority for our terrific pedestrian-friendly city.





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