Community Content: Safer Whitehall starts with balance and excellence in police division
Robert Kennedy reminded Americans that communities get the kind of public safety they demand.
In Whitehall, we demand excellence in policing and that our residents feel safe. When people do not feel safe, they feel fearful, and that fear can result in policies and procedures that might make them feel safe while sometimes coming at the cost of liberty and personal freedoms.
So then communities need to balance the level of safety they desire with the amount of liberty necessary for our way of life. This is precisely the balance your Whitehall Division of Police seeks through our Safer Whitehall initiative.
Through the implementation of our first three-year Safer Whitehall Strategic Plan, the city of Whitehall has seen dramatic reductions in crime.
Although the year 2020 truly has stressed many communities, our community partners have continued to support public-safety officials. Your demand for excellence in policing has held the division to a level of fair and unbiased policing that has made the community feel safer while maximizing liberty. We are eternally grateful for your unwavering support.
It is precisely your demand for excellence that has led our police division to initiate another high-expectation Safer Whitehall Strategic Plan for the next three years.
In addition to our goal to reduce crime – even beyond the successes of the past three years – we will hold ourselves accountable to our duty to protect your life, liberty and property. This Constitutional duty defines the culture of this organization and is the foundation on which the Safer Whitehall Strategic Plan is built.
The theme of 2021-24 Safer Whitehall Strategic Plan is community collaboration, meaning that as a police division, we are asking you to do something to make Whitehall safer each day.
If you’re unsure where to start, follow us on social media to learn about the many ways in which you can help remove opportunities for crime from your neighborhood. If you want to get more involved, consider attending an upcoming Town Hall meeting, whether it is virtual or in person when we are able to meet again in 2021.
Together, we will get through these trying times. We will build a stronger Whitehall that not only is statistically safer, but also where you will feel safer.
A community that feels safe is one that recognizes the value of public safety. The city of Whitehall is fortunate to have some of the finest police and fire personnel you will find anywhere in the state.
The cooperation and partnership between the police and fire divisions are part of what has made this city a safer place. When you couple the expertise of our fire division at handling overdoses, injuries and fire prevention and response with the proficiency of the police division at crime prevention, investigation, narcotics enforcement and youth mentorship, you find an example of public safety we hope to emulate throughout this city.
Public safety is the duty of all of us, and we want to engage this community to take simple but effective measures to remove theft and other crime opportunities from our neighborhoods. With your help, we will achieve our goal of making Whitehall one of the safest cities in Ohio.
Four years ago, the Whitehall Division of Police committed to reducing violent crime by 10% by 2020. There were those who said that was a lofty goal for Whitehall. Now in looking back at the first plan implementation period, we nearly quadrupled that reduction objective.
There is a scene in William Shakespeare’s "Henry IV, Part 1" in which Hotspur warned that the purpose they undertook was dangerous. Your Whitehall public-safety team will courageously run toward that danger to protect this city, and like the final words of Hotspur, “... we shall pluck a flower of safety from this thorn of danger.” We call that “flower of safety” a Safer Whitehall.
Mike Crispen is chief of the Whitehall Division of Police.