Thursday, October 24, 2013
Complaints brought before the Sunnyside City Council at its last meeting have been investigated by City Manager Don Day.
A memo from Day to the council detailed both incidents mentioned at the meeting on Oct. 14. Ron Price and Ron Stremler, both from Sunnyside and former reserve police officers, addressed the council about interactions with Sunnyside police that they had found disturbing.
Price described calling police to report a graffiti incident. Because he was leaving the area, the dispatcher told him to call back when he returned home. Price interpreted the conversation with the dispatcher as meaning the incident would be logged and Price would provide details when he returned.
However, when he called back, there was no log of his first call. Price said he needed the police log number for insurance purposes.
Day looked into the incident, checking the report and the audio record of the call. Day said in his letter to the council that the complaint was a direct result of a breakdown in communication.
“I’m satisfied that the city looked into the complaint,” said Price. He was also satisfied that the cause for his concern was a breakdown in communication, and not a means for the police to skew crime statistics.
Stremler’s complaint was regarding suspicious activity at a vacant home. He believed that police left too quickly to have properly investigated the incident and then he was unable to find a record of his call when he requested it from the city.
Day found a report matching the date, time and address of the incident. The report explained that the investigation hadn’t taken long because the police found a locked door and determined the house was still secure.
Regarding the lack of Stremler’s name on the report, Day admitted the police made a mistake.
“The reporting party (complainant) should have been identified, logged and included in the report,” Day wrote to the council.
Day concluded that this complaint was also due to a breakdown in communication.
Stremler, echoing Price, said that he was satisfied that the incident was properly investigated by the city manager.
“I do find it interesting that my name was left off the police log,” he said. He also questioned why police would leave the area without giving him an update to let him know that the building was, in fact, secure.
“It would have only taken them a minute,” he said.
At the Oct. 14 council meeting, Councilwoman Theresa Hancock also mentioned an incident in which she was unsuccessful in obtaining a police log number for insurance purposes. Hancock said Day followed up with her about the incident, but the matter has yet to be fully resolved.