LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Criminals pick on easy targets
April 22, 2009 · Updated 10:28 AM
To the editor:
I do not know who Dean Enell is, but he has shown total ignorance to the importance of public safety. The fact is, we who live on Whidbey Island do have a stake in our environment and the quality of life, that is why we live on the island and not in downtown Seattle.
Who keeps our environment and the quality of life intact? It is the Sheriff’s Office, the deputies who work on the road 24/7, patrolling the parks and the roads of our precious community. I do not see private citizens out in the night patrolling the parks and side roads to make sure that people are not committing property damage to our bird refuges, killing our wildlife, illegally chopping trees down. I do not see private citizens out at natural disasters like Glendale standing in the rain making sure that the county workers are safe, controlling the traffic going into the area. The Sheriff’s Office is charged with these duties.
Dean Enell does not understand that “older people” (I prefer “elders”) are the preferred victims of car prowls, auto thefts, burglaries, fraud, stolen identity and scams. They are easy targets for the criminals.
I refer to Dean Enell’s statistics on elders 65 and older having increased 310 percent on the island. This makes an even bigger case for making sure the Island County Sheriff’s Office is fully manned and that deputies are patrolling our roads and residential areas, with its parks and wildlife habitats, protecting our quality of life. Island County ranks 23rd out of 39 counties in the state for Part 1 offenses per capita. The Island County Sheriff’s Office averages 60 calls for service each day that are 911 calls.
On average, one-third or, 20 out of 60 calls, require a two-man response. If there are no deputies or there is a shortage of deputies, then the response time will increase.
Think of this: if you’re a victim of an ongoing crime and you need help, you call 911 and there is no one to respond because the deputy patrolling is in the Coupeville area and you live in Clinton.
I am a retired police officer. I spent 15 years on patrol and 17 years as a detective, so I know from years of interviewing suspects that criminals know the patrol shift hours and if an area is being patrolled. Criminals go for what they think are sure bets in committing crimes.