Sanders County Ledger - Your Best Source For Sanders County News

By John Dowd 

Community help sought in fighting local crime


November 5, 2020

Over the years a rise of crime has prompted the local Thompson Falls Police Department, and Officer Roy Scott, to reach out to the community to begin a community crime watch initiative. According to Scott, who is spear heading the initiative, there was a rush of crime in Plains over the Halloween weekend, and he believes that this is not an unusual thing. He has had several locals express concerns about the crime rate in the community, concerning drug trafficking, theft, disturbance and other crimes over the years.

Though Thompson Falls does not have an unusually high crime rate, there have been a rash of thefts and burglaries in the area, according to Scott. As Scott explained, locals are used to leaving their doors unlocked, however, he said the days where it is safe to do that have passed. In order to keep the community safe, Scott would like to start a community watch program for Thompson Falls and the surrounding areas. “With a little help from the community we can do a better job,” said Scott. Though he is proud of the work law enforcement does in Sanders County, and Thompson Falls in particular, he believes that by enlisting the help of locals, they can make a difference.

Scott says that not only would such a program put “more eyes out there,” but would also allow the police a place to disseminate information such as ideas for improving security and to give locals a space to communicate concerns. “We try not to overlook any calls that come in. If it concerns the community, it concerns us,” said Scott. Thompson Falls used to have a crime watch program, however it dissolved sometime not long after 2001. With the times changing, the county population growing, and crime rising, Scott believes that it would behoove the community to have a place to not only anonymously reach the police, but somewhere where the police/community relationship can be improved. Scott mentioned that with many out of staters moving out into Sanders County for better quality of life, this group would provide a chance for those individuals to become better acquainted and entrenched with the community. Scott also added that it is important for the police to have witnesses come forward to officially report crimes, not just anonymously, because, according Scott, “sometimes, according to the law, without a witness there is no crime.” Such a program would give locals the tools to understand how to better protect their community and how to better report crimes to see justice.

Scott plans to hold the first meeting on November 10, at the Thompson Falls Community Center at 7 p.m. The police department hopes that this will only be the first of many and is meant to gauge the community interest in such an initiative. The meeting is being advertised through several flyers around town as well as through the police department’s Facebook page.


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