NOTE: The goal of this article is not to criticize the Schaumburg Police Department. The goal is to lead citizens and police to be aware and understand the level of detail that is appropriate for public information — especially considering that police radio dispatches are no longer available to the public in real time. Schaumburg police are part of a dispatch system that requires they use encrypted police radio transmissions. It is unknown if it is actually the first choice of the Village of Schaumburg to use encrypted police radio transmissions.
The Schaumburg Police Department released an alert Tuesday, March 25, 2014 regarding recent apartment burglaries in the Village of Schaumburg. Police have identified a burglary pattern that has targeted two separate apartment properties during the last month. One property is located in Beat 6 (east side of the village) and one property is located in Beat 10 (north central part of the village).
— Arlingtoncards (@Arlingtoncards) March 28, 2014
SOURCE: Village of Schaumburg Beat Map/Beat Map Links.
Unknown offender(s) entered the apartment main lobby door (sometimes using force) and then apparently looked for an apartment where nobody is home. The offender(s) defeated the deadbolt with a pry-type tool damaging the door frame to force entry.
The offender(s) have taken large electronic items like TV’s, computers, and game systems. These burglaries generally occurred during the daytime. On two separate occasions neighbors either witnessed the offender(s) acting suspiciously as they entered the building or they heard loud noises as entry was being forced. In both cases the witnesses did NOT call 9-1-1.
Schaumburg police did not identify the specific addresses of the apartment buildings or a precise time frame of the burglaries, therefore the alert is lacking in some relevance to the target audience. Since Schaumburg police use secret radio communications with military-grade encryption to prevent dispatch communications from being monitored, neighborhood watch citizens or groups cannot gain real time awareness of fleeing burglars or other suspicious activity occurring locally. The delay in awareness also decreases the chance of recall of suspect descriptions, vehicle descriptions, and other crime-related activities. Due to the secret police communications, a healthy democracy with verification and cross-checking by an effective media motivated to provide details is thwarted.
Schaumburg police report that these types of burglaries may be prevented with a few simple measures.
First install 3” screws in the strike plate making the deadbolt and door frame more
difficult to compromise.
Second, ensure “peep-hole” eye viewers cannot be unscrewed providing the offenders a view inside the apartment.
Finally, immediately call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious persons or suspicious noises.
Anybody who may have information about these crimes is urged to contact:
SPD Investigations Division at …
E-mail: [email protected]
IMPORTANT ALERT …
Cardinal Note: As of June 5, 2013 — up to and including the date of this article — police incidents related to the above police agency are not reported in real time or within a prompt time period. Police protecting their realm of investigation and police activity, have chosen to use secret military-grade encrypted radios to withhold their police communications, which were previously open to the public and news media via monitoring of public safety scanning radios — with no known negative results locally.
The delayed knowledge or entirely blacked out knowledge resulting from encrypted police communications may protect certain police operations and investigations, but it also puts the public at risk in situations such as when armed and dangerous offenders are at large and when other similar situations occur, such as when desperate offenders of property crimes are eluding police. In other cases, the delayed or blacked out information inhibits or prohibits the possibility of the public providing early witness accounts before a criminal trail goes cold. Citizens are much more likely to recognize or recall suspicious or criminal activity if they are aware of the criminal incident within minutes or hours of its occurrence. The most serious incident involving dire results would be a trail that is allowed to go cold in the case of child abduction.
The lack of real time information from public police dispatch also weakens an effective neighborhood watch program mostly working to prevent property loss, but also working to prevent possible violent crimes.
Police have alternate ways to transmit tactical, operational or investigative information, while still keeping their main public dispatch channels open for the best balance of public safety and police safety.
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