BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — The Battle Creek Police Department will be hosting a series of meetings to let residents know the important role they play in solving crimes, said Chief Jim Blocker.
“It’s our opportunity with the community, the pastor’s community, as well as the police to all sit down and talk about some of the violent crime,” he said in an interview. “Importantly, how is it a requirement the community is involved.”
Tonight's meeting was the first of three called Can I Get a Witness, he said. Police have done these meetings in the past where they did more listening than speaking he said. They also addressed residents' concerns, and fears, about stepping forward.
“There’s never been a homicide solved by any detective that they’ve done it completely on their own,” he said. “They’ve had witnesses. They’ve had community support. They’ve had somebody that help carry the water of that investigation all the way through.”
He said the criminal justice system relies on the community’s help. Since June 20, there’s been a rash of shootings in the city, which tends to happen when the weather gets warmer.
"People are enjoying themselves, maybe a little bit too much," Chief Blocker said. "It's an opportunity to get out settle old scores or start new ones. And so because of that we have to ramp up and respond."
Each investigation is still open and they’ve several received tips via the Silent Observer. However, in order to make an arrest and prosecute a suspect in any case, they need witnesses to participate in the process.
"All we’re simply doing is re-educating the community about the system: the harsh realities of it and how their participation is a requirement," he said. "Or they’re always going to be frustrated."
- Friday July 21 at Freedom Faith Worship Center at 485 Capital Ave. SW
- Tuesday July 31 at Second Missionary Baptists Church at 485 N. Washington Ave.