Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 29, 2013

There are many factors in crime prevention

Ask the sheriff

GOSHEN — One of the many questions asked of me is, “What are you doing to reduce crime in Elkhart County?” The problem with crime is that it is often tied to many different factors in our society, which I do not have any direct control over. Such factors as broken families, lack of respect for authority and property and no moral absolutes. It is a heart and mind problem. It is a societal problem.

Reducing crime is important. Safety and economic development of our community are important results of reducing crime. Therefore, I will work with the community to reduce and prevent crime.

My team and I continue to work toward empowering the Elkhart County community with information that will provide neighborhoods with crime trends and potential dangers in your area, instructions during a crisis and how to protect yourself against personal and property crimes. This empowerment includes the use of print/radio/TV media, social media, email, cell phone texts and the sheriff’s office website.

Notifications available to the public include victims and anyone wishing to know when a specific offender is being released from jail; sex offenders moving into or working near your neighborhood; and criminal reports filed within a designated mileage from your residence. To sign up for any of these types of notifications, go to my website at www.elkhartcountysheriff.com.

Progress is being made to further expand this community involvement. Stay tuned for more developments. Knowledge is power to the Elkhart County citizen in helping us all to reduce and prevent crime.

As my officers aggressively pursue those who have committed felonies, the arrest of those criminals actually helps to reduce crime. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is often difficult for the sheriff to share the successes of an investigation immediately to the public, as we don’t want to taint the potential prosecution and any subsequent trial. Often, a case assigned to one investigator can be time-consuming. Thinking outside the box, my excellent staff and I have developed such investigative strategies as a people crimes unit, a property crimes unit and a child victim crimes unit in collaboration with the Goshen Police Department.

By collaborating and pooling resources, at no extra cost to the taxpayers, multiple officers facilitate the investigation and get the felon off the street quickly. Enhanced cooperation with the prosecutor and local police agencies, and increasing the number of investigators conducting intelligence and undercover work against organized crime and gang activity, helps us stay on top of issues that will affect the safety of our community. In addition, we continue to aggressively locate and arrest those who manufacture meth and are endangering our community. The excellent work of my officers in targeting impaired and dangerous driving as well as criminal patrol in neighborhoods being affected by a crime trend, are still very effective strategies in this county.  

Another method of reducing crime is by actually reducing the recidivism of those persons being released from jail or prison. Through evidence-based programming and facilitating jail ministry, my staff and I work with commitment to impact our community in a positive way, empowering the ex-offender to reintegrate successfully back into the community.  

As sheriff, I will continue to work with my dedicated staff to not just take reports and run from call to call, but to actually reduce crime.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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