Police can’t investigate a crime if they aren’t aware of that crime. That’s one reason Officer Osvaldo Sicairos of the Dalton Police Department has been reaching out to improve communication with owners and managers of Hispanic businesses in Dalton.
“There was a robbery on 4th Avenue last year,” said Officer Sicairos while on patrol recently. “As a result of that we started going around to some of the businesses and advising them how to better protect their businesses and also just to improve the relationship between the people and police.”
Over the past year, Officer Sicairos has visited more than a dozen area businesses to build up a database of contact information for owners and also help them protect their stores. The advice offered by Sicairos ranged from removing large signs and advertisements from windows so passersby could see into the store more easily and call for help if something was wrong to installing camera systems to making sure existing camera systems were in good working order. The main thing Sicairos urged business owners to do was simply report crimes when they happened.
“I don’t think I’ve ever taken a shoplifting report in a Hispanic store before,” said Sicairos. “You think it doesn’t happen? Of course it happens. Every single [business owner] told me that people shoplift and 90-something percent of the time, they don’t report it.”