Full police logs can now be found online
In an effort to become more transparent, the Jamestown Police Department is making it easier for the public to access dispatch logs to see what officers are doing on a day-to-day basis.
According to Police Chief Ed Mello, the decision to put weekly logs online and to provide the Jamestown Press with more detailed arrest reports came after having conversations from residents who thought police officers weren’t staying busy.
“It’s a perception issue,” said Mello.
For example, one man approached Mello and said that according to his calculations, the officers weren’t doing much more than arresting two or three people per week.
“I asked him how he reached that conclusion,” Mello said. “He said it was based on arrest reports in the newspaper. There is a disconnect there, because there is much more that officers do than those arrests.”
According to the chief, only a small fraction of calls that officers respond to end up in the Press’ police log. For that reason, he thought it would be advantageous to give residents a more convenient way to access the public records.
“The majority of our calls are service calls. They’re not traffi c stops. We respond to calls for house and alarm checks, harassment complaints, suspicious activity. Even for sounds at night. Those are not what I consider to be the enforcement side of police work. That is the service side of police work.”
The Police Department launched its new website over the summer, and the weekly dispatch logs can be found at JamestownRI.net/po lice.
“It helps the residents have a better understanding of what the department is responding to,” said Mello. “It allows people who are particularly inquisitive to read our day log online.”