Police agencies across the nation stress that the communities they protect have to be their eyes and ears when they are not around, but many fight a "no snitching" mindset that has been embedded in certain neighborhoods for years. There has been some progress in eroding that stance in recent years, but a couple of stories shared at a recent problem-solving meeting in Alton brings to light the problems that are encountered, even when someone wants to do the right thing.
In one case, a neighbor reported a house believed to be involved in the drug trade, and another to report a drunken gathering in a nearby backyard. In both cases, the one reporting the incident said they felt intimidated by the ones that were being turned in. Emily Hejna, Public Information Officer with the department, says you should evaluate each situation before deciding how to handle it.
The Alton Police Department can be reached at 463-3505, or the anonymous tip line at 465-5948.