DUBOIS – With incoming criticism about police visibility and response time the City of DuBois mayor attempted to explain what happened.
“I just want to reiterate, the community is safe. Police are responding to calls,” said Mayor John “Herm” Suplizio.
Mayor and Acting City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio responded to the complaints, namely a letter to the editor in the Courier-Express. The letter to the editor by DuBois resident Debbie Mechling said the police took 20 minutes to answering a call and Suplizio for showed disrespect to former police officer William “Shakey” Harris when Harris showed up at the last council meeting.
In the twenty minute response charge, a person had knocked on the windows and doors of homes attempting to gain entry.
“Those [charges] aren’t 100 percent correct,” said Suplizio.
According the Acting Police Chief Mike DiLullo the officers were on scene within three minutes, not twenty. They just didn’t respond to the home of the reporting resident as the resident said when reporting attempt at break in that the suspect fled to another road about a block away. Protocol for the police department when a suspect is reported as fleeing the scene is head first to the area he or she is reported fleeing to. Not to stop at place he or she is most likely not at currently and then begin chasing.
“If you give a call to the police giving a report saying an individual was last seen heading somewhere we will not come to your door first,” said DiLullo.
While looking for this suspect the reporting officers received two more alerts. One was a stolen vehicle and another of a hit and run. It took 20 to 30 minutes to sort out three urgent calls that were revealed to be the same suspect. Only after having apprehended the suspect did the police did they have the time to the reporting residence.
The police were not ignoring the resident who had reported the crime. They were busy handling the call and situation as protocol stated.
Suplizio hoped that with the protocol released to the public everyone would understand better when officers don’t show up immediately after some calls.
“I know last round I didn’t mean any undo disrespect for “Shakey” Harris,” said Suplizio.
Harris had attended the last city council meeting to complain that under DiLullo there were less visible officers on the streets.
“The times have changed. The kids are different and what they handle is different,” said Suplizio.
Saturday, for Trick or Treat, police will be upping their visibility. It is planned for there to be a marked patrol cruiser in every ward. There might be candy handed out by the police as well.