Inside City Hall: Don't wait until it's too late to call 9-1-1

Dave Kull, Brandon Chief of Police
Prior to 1968, in order to report a fire, a traffic crash or a medical emergency, one had to either have committed to memory or been able to look up the appropriate number for the fire department, the police department or the ambulance. 
Then along came that one number that could be called and get any or all three of those services responding to render aid. The 50th anniversary of the first 911 call in the nation will be Feb. 16, 2018, though I doubt there will be much of any fanfare, cake cutting or balloons cast aloft to commemorate that event. After all, it’s just a number.
Yet, 911 is a number that many in our community seem hesitant to use. They will see something that appears to be suspicious and have a phone readily at hand but then work through a number of reasons not to make the call. It usually comes down to the fact that they don’t want to bother police in case it’s something trivial and officers probably have more important matters to deal with. Trust me when I say that we want the calls. If the suspicion of a citizen turns out to be unfounded, we’ll clear the call and move on. No harm, no foul, and certainly no feeling that we’ve been bothered.
How important is this? Just last week a local business owner noticed a small suitcase and other miscellaneous items placed in their dumpster. It’s not uncommon for some to find a convenient dumpster to get rid of their trash. And these items didn’t appear of any great value, yet he called. Turned out they were items from a home burglary in Lyon County, Iowa. The investigators, who already had identified a person of interest in the case, recovered the items and we were also able to obtain video from a neighboring business. That video revealed a car, a person and, viola, a case on its way to closure.
Brandon is a relatively safe place to live and we enjoy a good standard of living, but that doesn’t make us immune from crime and we should not become complacent about our security. Those of us at the Brandon Police Department want to remind everyone, if you see something that doesn’t look right, do what others have done for the past 50 years; pull out the phone and dial 911.   


The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
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Brandon, SD 57005
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