TWO-DAY LAPSE IN RELEASE OF PUBLIC NOTIFICATION OF SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT INVOLVING SOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT VICTIM
Arlington Heights police responded to a report that on Wednesday March 7, 2018 in the afternoon, a female middle school student was a victim of a suspicious incident on her route home from South Middle School, 400 South Highland Avenue Arlington Heights, IL. Police received a report that a South Middle School student was walking home from school on Harvard Avenue (north of Grove), when the student was followed closely by a white and teal taxi cab. The taxi driver then pulled in front of the student, blocked her path on the sidewalk, and waved her over to the cab. The student immediately screamed. The driver backed up and sped away.
The student then ran the other direction toward Sigwalt Street.
The driver was described as a male Hispanic in his 40’s.
The student alerted a trusted adult who walked her home. Her parents contacted the Arlington Heights Police Department, but it is unknown whether the police were contacted immediately or whether the police notification was delayed. Therefore, it is unknown why there is a two-day lapse from the time of the incident and the time of notification of South Middle School, and the subsequent notification of parents. It is unknown whether this delay occurred within the police department, or the delay occurred because the parents did not immediately notify the police department.
South Middle School parents were emailed a notification on Friday March 9, 2017 at about 3:25 p.m.
The Arlington Heights Police Department issued a patrol alert regarding this incident to their patrol officers. However, there were no public notifications on any of the official Arlington Heights Police Department message outlets (Citizens Observer, Facebook, or Twitter).
The crime is reported to have occurred on Wednesday but the time detail of the incident was not released.
South Middle School Notification to Parents About Suspicious Incident
Friday March 9, 2017 ~3:25 p.m
Dear South Community,
We are writing to let you know of an occurrence that was reported to us by the Arlington Heights Police Department this afternoon. On Wednesday of this week, as one of our South students was walking home from school on Harvard Street (north of Grove), they were followed closely by a white and teal taxi cab. The driver then pulled in front of the student, blocked her sidewalk, and waved her over to the cab. The student immediately screamed, the driver backed up and sped away, and she ran the other direction towards Sigwalt. The driver was described as a male Hispanic in his 40’s.
The student alerted a trusted adult who walked her home. Her parents contacted the Arlington Heights Police Department. The AHPD issued a patrol alert regarding this incident.
While we do not know the cab’s business in the area nor if there was any association to the district, we took the extra step of contacting our transportation department. They will reinforce our contracted taxi companies/drivers they should never approach students when off campus.
This situation brings to light the importance of taking the time to talk with your children about stranger danger and immediately reporting any incident to an adult and the police, similar to this student and family. It is recommended that kids walk in pairs or small groups whenever possible. We’ve included this link to a flyer which reinforces the rules of personal safety, that you may find helpful in talking with your children.
Please be assured your child’s safety is of the utmost importance to everyone, and we ask that you report any unusual incidents to the Arlington Heights Police Department.
Piper Boston, Principal
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.
Lack of real time information from police dispatch also delays public awareness or eliminates public awareness of general hazards and traffic or other situations in every day living in an otherwise economically thriving community.
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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