Sheriff’s Office educates about crime increase; prevention
By Lynne Marsala Basche
On May 25, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) held two sessions and met with residents at the Castle Pines Community Center. Public Information Officers Lauren Lekander and Jason Blanchard, along with Crime Lab Manager Tracey Montano hosted the event with a goal to have an open discussion on collaboration and communication regarding public safety and crime prevention.
Residents learned that the City of Castle Pines has contracted with the DCSO to ensure that the city has one dedicated deputy patrolling Castle Pines 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In total, there are six deputies assigned specifically to Castle Pines.
Crime prevention is an increasing concern to residents, given that opportunistic crimes have continued to increase in Castle Pines. (Read more in the May issue of The Connection.) The DCSO can help residents identify areas of easy access or vulnerability, and residents learned that they could request a deputy to assist in the process by calling Community Resources at 303-660-7544. Neighborhood Watch groups also help to deter crime, and residents can read about starting a group in the June issue of The Connection.
If a resident becomes a victim of a crime, attendees learned that they should contact the DCSO immediately. If the crime is not currently occurring, residents should call the non-emergency number at 303-660-7500. If the crime is still in progress, call 9-1-1. Residents were reminded not to touch anything, and if they come home to find an open door to either their house or their car, they should not enter. Call the DCSO right away so that a deputy can come out to attempt to collect evidence.
The use of Nextdoor was also a hot topic. Lekander explained that the DCSO cannot see any resident’s posts or any comments made to their posts, and the DCSO cannot contact residents directly unless the resident reaches out to them first or has commented on a DCSO post. The DCSO is a government agency, and, as such, Nextdoor is restrictive on what can be seen or shared. If a resident sees a post that they would like the DCSO to know about, they can email it (by cutting and pasting or by using a screen capture) to the DCSO. Lekander also noted that Nextdoor is not an appropriate or an effective way to report a crime. The DCSO should be contacted via its emergency or non-emergency numbers.
DCSO representatives acknowledged that to keep the community safe, residents and the DCSO must work together and communicate necessary information to one another. As the community changes and grows, communication throughout 80108 is essential.