“911, what’s your emergency?” is commonly the response when a citizen dials 911. The telecommunicator answering the call will immediately follow-up with several more questions designed to ensure the proper assistance is sent to where it is needed. These questions provide valuable safety information to the responding personnel and ultimately help to bring criminals to justice. A caller that remains calm and answers the questions will save time, potentially saving lives and property from harm.
“The 911 emergency system serves an important purpose in the preservation of life and property. “If a person is unsure an emergency call is necessary, they should err on the side of caution and call 911,” said Josh Nelson, joint services manager. “Do not call 911 for general inquiries or to report non-emergencies, as this could potentially delay the response for a real emergency.”
Kenosha Drug Operations Group (KDOG), with the assistance of Kenosha Police Department K9 Officer Torres and the Kenosha Police Department gang unit, completed a marijuana drug investigation on Wednesday.
At about 1:45 p.m., the suspect in the case was taken into custody on a traffic stop in the 4200 block of 79th Street on three drug-related charges, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Bill Beth said.
A Walking Miracle is what Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy, Tim Johnson, has been called.
He said he never saw the car coming that almost killed him. Surrounded by orange cones and flashing lights, Johnson was clearing an accident on I-94 near Miller Park when a car struck him. He was thrown 35 feet in the air and landed, head first, on a concrete barrier.
A salesperson representing an alarm company comes to your door and asks if you have an alarm system for your home. How will you answer that question if you have no alarm? If you answer “No” you have just told a stranger your home may be vulnerable to burglary.
You may not realize the need to know how to identify a door-to-door scam until you understand how easy it can be to fall for one. Con artists use specially developed techniques and well-known psychological effects to get you to act a certain way. People are taken advantage of every day. Some merely lose the money, while others deal with much more serious consequences, such as stolen identities.
Even if you are convinced a door-to-door sales scam could never happen to you, it may be beneficial to know what to look for. A con artist may:
- Be of any age or gender.
- Try to distract you with talk of a competition or contest before mentioning anything about the cost of the product.
- Appeal to your charitable nature. Be wary if a person at your door mentions they are working for a “good cause,” especially if it is one you have not heard before.
- Attempt to gain entry to your home. Train yourself not to let strangers inside.
- Attempt to befriend you. Expect conversation about your likes, interests, and hobbies.
- Not wait around for you to say “yes.” Instead, the paperwork will be completed long before you have even made up your mind.
- Attempt to get you involved in the scam. In this way, you are less likely to report it when you do eventually get taken advantage of.
Some door-to-door salespeople are selling legitimate products and services; however, many are attempting to deceive. An important concept to remember is the salesperson is a stranger. In the event the deal takes a wrong turn, will you be able to locate the person?
If you are considering making a purchase from a salesperson at your door, do not act in haste, request references and the company’s physical address for validation. Wisconsin law requires door-to-door salespeople to disclose their name, the organization they are representing, the products or services they are offering, and the purpose of their visit.
The City of Kenosha requires all door-to-door salespeople to have a peddler’s license. The license must be worn while the person is engaged in selling. Peddlers are also limited to the selling hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless a prearranged appointment has been set up.
Wisconsin law gives consumers three days to cancel a door-to-door sales transaction of $25 or more. A salesperson must tell you about your cancellation rights at the time of the sale and provide you with two copies of a cancellation form. One copy is for your records, the other is to send to the seller should you choose to cancel the purchase.
“The three day right to cancel law gives consumers time to reconsider their actions, but refusing to deal with salespeople who are not following the law is still the best way to avoid becoming a victim,” said Janet Jenkins, Administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection.
A door-to-door sales person who does not have a license or does not follow the law is suspicious and should be reported to the police. Making this report, including suspect and vehicle descriptions, may greatly reduce the likelihood of future victims.
To file a consumer complaint regarding questionable door-to-door sales, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection on the web at www.datcp.state.wi.us; via e-mail at [email protected]; or call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-422-7128.
At the 7th District neighborhood meeting held last night at the Boys and Girls Club, residents spoke up about the problems they have been dealing with that just never seem to get fixed. About fifty people were in attendance, along with a contingent of Kenosha police officers. Present were chief of police John Morrissey, crime prevention officers, Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis, officers from the gang unit and drug enforcement unit, a lieutenant, and a public information officer. City representatives included city attorney, Ed Antaramian, four Neighborhood Services and Inspections representatives, and city development director, Jeff LaBahn. Only four alderpersons were present, even though all were invited. Those present were Patrick Juliana, Jesse Downing, Steve Bostrom, and Jan Michalski. What the audience heard over and over again is that “we must work together” to take back our neighborhoods, and “keep on calling.” Morrissey said, “Call, and call, and call.”
Residents complained about a whole range of persistent problems: noisy neighbors and loud parties, annoying car stereos with the bass turned up, tall weeds, junk cars in back yards, blight, bad language, drug deals going down right in front of homes, gangs and gang wanna-be’s, gambling, selling clothes out of trunks of cars, dogfighting, etc. The list goes on and on.
Some residents also complained about the kind of service they received when calling into Dispatch. “Too many questions are asked,” residents said repeatedly. “By the time the squad arrives, the drug deal is all over with.” Wamboldt explained that this is part of their training. They are gathering information to protect the safety of the reporting officer. However, if a citizen is receiving rude or indifferent service, then the caller should request to speak to the shift supervisor. Chief of Police John Morrissey informed the group that the dispatchers are contract employees, and he assured everyone that the supervisor of that group would be informed of these issues the very next day. With a new director coming in, possibly some changes could be made. Plus, all calls to Dispatch are taped. If necessary, the tapes can be reviewed. Also, if a citizen is fearful of retaliation as a result of reporting a problem to the police, they can call Crimestoppers. Juliana also offered, “Just call me. I’ll call it in for you.”
Four officers from the gang unit talked about their surveillance efforts and the length of time it takes in order to investigate reported drug crimes. “It’s kind of a crap shoot that we will actually see a drug deal happening and be able to make an arrest. We will watch two or three houses a day, but if there is no suspicious activity that we observe, we can’t do anything.”
The city attorney spoke to the audience as well. “There are 17,000 cases a year that come through our courts. We have four attorneys in our office to handle all of these cases,” Antaramian said. “Everyone is subject to a personnel crunch. We have all of these cases to take care of, plus all of the other city’s legal work, like contracts, etc. Things take time.”
The issue of landlord problems came up repeatedly. Even though there are mostly good, responsible, landlords (several of whom were in the audience) who belong to the Landlord Association, the few who are absentee and/or irresponsible, spoil the reputation of all. Juliana stated that, “back in the 80′s, the ratio of owned to rented homes was 49/51. As home ownership has decreased, the crime rate has increased. As the number of owner-occupied homes has decreased, the non-owner-occupied homes have increased. There are currently nine other districts that are below the 50% level.” One lady suggested publishing the names of the property owners in the paper whenever there is a disturbance reported. She felt it might help to “shame them.” Another option discussed was that the crime prevention officers offer an eight-hour class for landlords, called the “Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program.” One hundred and twenty people have taken the class thus far. Contact Wamboldt or Francis if you’re interested in attending.
LaBahn addressed the group. “The homes in Kenosha are required to be owner-occupied. We are trying to provide better housing and get rid of blight. There will be one more round of homes (six homes) built in the Columbus area. This will be the last of the new single-family homes for the foreseeable future.”
Foreclosures were another topic brought up on more than one occasion. Martha, one of the city inspectors, gave the following information. “NSI can only get involved if there are complaints brought forward. If a home is vacant, open and accessible, we can order it secured. We don’t board up windows unless they’re broken on the first floor. Boarding up a house makes it look vacant. If we don’t board it up, it looks more normal. We have a number of cases that we check monthly. When a bank issues a judgment, there is a redemption period, usually six months for an owner-occupied property. During this time, the house is in limbo; no one is responsible for it. Here is where the city steps up in securing the house, cutting the grass, and shovelling the snow. A special assessment is charged to the property for these services. Then, it takes a month to six weeks to set up a sheriff’s sale. An independent party can purchase the property, or it goes back to the bank. Re-inspection fees are tacked onto the property’s real estate bill, which makes it more difficult for the property to sell.” Issues of garbage or debris outside of homes need to be reported to the Kenosha County Health Department.
The chief and NSI inspectors urged citizens to keep calling. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Don’t be shy in calling.” A one-page Kenosha Police Department citizen contact telephone numbers list was copied and distributed. This list is attached here for your convenience: KPD Citizen Contact Telephone Numbers. Please keep it handy in case you need to make a call.
One lady spoke of a card system which was in place years ago. The police department kept cards on file which gave the property owner’s authorization for the police to go in if there was a problem at their property. The police chief didn’t recall anything like that in his twenty years on the force.
Wamboldt and Francis also urged citizens to form neighborhood watch groups. Wamboldt asked how many in the group belonged to neighborhood watch. Only a few raised their hands. He said, “I encourage all of you to belong to a neighborhood watch group. There is strength in numbers. If your area is not conducive to forming a neighborhood watch group, then just call all the time.” Their e-mail address is: [email protected] if you’d like to e-mail them instead.
Wamboldt also mentioned the “broken window” theory. “If small problems are taken care, they don’t blossom into bigger ones. Imagine a tall building with lots of windows. Which one is the hardest to break? The first one. Once one is broken, it makes it easier to break another, and another, and another. Which one is the easiest to break? The last one. All the other ones are already broken.”
Francis encouraged the citizens to call Wamboldt and himself if they didn’t know who else to call. “We handle all kinds of problems. My colleagues behind me will probably cringe when I say this, but we are not always concerned with writing tickets or making arrests. Yes, the ultimate goal is an arrest and prosecution. But, we are a little different than the rest of the police department.”
Francis also mentioned a new piece of legislation which is just now starting to be worked on at the state level. ”It is a ‘Crime-Free Multi-Housing Lease Addendum.’ It is a tool which would become a component of a lease. If there are problems with tenants in one of three areas: gangs, drugs, or prostitution, this addendum would give the landlord the right to evict a tenant after a five-day “right to cure” was provided.” Since this is just in the beginning stages, Francis will keep the group informed as to its progress.
Morrissey urged property owners to start using the Crimestoppers software, which is available on the Kenosha Police Department’s website, to monitor crimes in your property’s vicinity. “This is a good tool to monitor the goings-on in your neighborhood,” he said. The software is available on the Kenosha Police Department’s website, Kenoshapolice.com. Instructions are available on the website.
How can we stop these problems? “If neighbors get together, form neighborhood watch groups, look out for each other, and continue making the calls to the police department, it would go a long way in improving things. We want to get these problems out of our community altogether, not just push them to another area of the city.”
Juliana asked the group if another meeting was desired, and there were affirmative responses. Check back for more information on the date for the next meeting.
At the Public Safety and Welfare meeting held on Monday night, Chief of Police John Morrissey gave the committee a report on the 2011 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) and the purchases that will be made by both the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department as a result of the funding. Historically, the money has been split 60/40 between the two departments, and this year, the same agreement has been reached. The total grant funding for this year is $47,177. Here is a list of items that will be purchased by each department:
At several recent Public Safety and Welfare meetings, the topic of vacant Kenosha police officer positions was raised. The issue mentioned at both the April 27 and May 9 meetings was the fact that there were five vacancies, then six, and they were not going to be replaced. Alderperson Jesse Downing stated at the April 27 meeting that it was “up to us whether we’re going to replace the five officers, not Administration’s.” The issue came up again at the May 9 meeting. Downing asked John Morrissey, Kenosha police chief, to give a status update on the openings. Morrissey reported that there were, indeed, five vacancies, now six. He stated that he was not hiring anyone at that point. Downing stated that that was unacceptable.
Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey says he is not big on crime stats. They’re just numbers, he says.
And in general Kenosha’s crime numbers are going in the right direction — down, he said Thursday.
But the most dramatic decrease in the city’s police related numbers is traffic accidents, Morrissey told a meeting of the Kenosha Area Noon Optimist Club.
Traffic crashes last year were down 32 percent over the year before, Morrissey said.
One reason, Morrissey said, is that another number was up — traffic citations.
At 2:21 p.m., Kenosha Police Department officers and Sheriff’s Department deputies are looking for a female teenager with developmental disabilities last seen in the area of 47th Avenue and Washington Road that may have wandered away from her home.
She has been missing since about 2 p.m.
Description of the girl is short brown hair, wearing a red hat, red coat, black jeans and white tennis shoes with a green heel.
UPDATE 2:35 p.m. — Child has been located and is waiting with a family at a residence on 52nd Avenue. She is somewhat frightened that she will be “in trouble,” but otherwise OK, dispatch reports.
The Kenosha Police Department’s take on the 12 Days of Christmas went viral last year. But you can never see it too much. Enjoy: