Akron police begin ‘proactive policing’

Posted August 10, 2018 at 7:58 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

The Akron Police Department is trying a new way to reach the general public, according to Akron Police Chief Bill Young.

“A big part of what we will use the Facebook page for is to share information – important information,” said Young.

On Monday at about 2:30 p.m., Young posted a request for help in locating a 16-passenger transport van, possibly with Indiana license plates, which contained two white men who followed a girl from the Akron Swimming Pool to Casey’s General Store. The two men waited for her to leave the store and continued to follow her.

On the other hand, the Facebook page may have photos of Young and Police Officer Brandon Cabney interacting with the public such as Cabney’s post about stopping at a lemonade stand operated by young entrepreneurs.

“It’s not out of the realm that if we have ‘wanted’ people, we may put them on there,” said Young.

One recent Facebook post Young posted was answering the question was his German Shepherd dog a K-9 officer for the Akron Police Department. The answer was “No, she’s just a family pet.”

Cabney may post where he is setting up the radar to catch speeders.

We aren’t going to be setting speed traps, said Cabney. “We’re not out to get anybody. We’d rather have people not speeding than have people sneaking into town with me trying to catch them. It’s not about that. It’s for public information.”

The Facebook page is for “proactive” policing like the radar location posts, he explained.

Another post Young did was to warn kids who were partying in vacant houses that they’d better stop their activities or they would end up with a criminal record.

“I was giving people an opportunity to correct their behavior and prevent the behavior instead of just going in and trying to bust them,” said Young. “Most people would say if the police took the time to warn you and you still go and do it and get caught, then you deserve what you get.”

They may also post Iowa Code and city codes so that people know what the law is — such as how to legally drive golf carts within the city limits.

“I’ve always enjoyed writing,” said Young, “and I like to use a little bit of humor so people will probably see that come out.”

One thing you will never see on the Akron Police’s Facebook page is political propaganda, said Young. The posts will be information we feel we need to get to the public and items of human interest pertaining to the Akron Police Department and its officers.

It will be unbiased and police-related posts only, said Young.

People will get to see the good side of our job, too, said Cabney.

The Facebook page is “Akron IA Police Department.”

Cabney deserves the credit for the Akron Police Department having a Facebook page, said Young. It was his idea.

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