New Haven’s block watches have started seeing the crime updates that New Haven’s cops see every day.
That’s because the police department has started emailing to citizen crime-watchers editions of the “Flash Sheet”—an illustrated compendium of latest crimes, arrests, wanted people, interspersed with weather forecasts and a local events calendar…
... not to mention a daily “flashback” look at a notorious long-ago crime. Department spokesman David Hartman produces the daily publication. (The version sent to crime-watchers does not include attachments with sensitive information from other departments about pending investigations.)
Click here to read a sample issue.
Chief Dean Esserman initiated the Flash Sheet as an in-house daily news publication two years ago to keep cops and allied outside law-enforcement groups in the loop.
He said that he decided to start having the Flash Sheet emailed to captains of all city block watches and community management teams in order to keep the public better informed, too, since community policing relies on the involvement of citizens. The department is asking those block watch and management team captains to pass the flash sheets along to their own members. The captains started receiving emailed versions of the Flash Sheet this past Friday.
The move reflects a recent effort by the department to revive block watches. Read about that here.
“Information matters,” Esserman said. “This is another step in community engagement. The same thing an officer is looking at, the public is looking at.”
The rise of the Flash Sheet also reflects the way that government agencies across the country (like all organizations) have realized they can in effect create their own media outlets to get their message out to the broader public.