Our Sherwood Police Department Patrol Division, which is presently made up of 16 patrol officers and 3 patrol sergeants (supervisors), is responsible for responding to initial calls for service on a 24/7 schedule.
Citizens file police reports for a whole range of situations, including; thefts of property, criminal mischief (damage to property), hit and run and pedestrian accidents, mail thefts, identity theft, burglaries, robberies, assaults, domestic disturbance, etc.
Presently, with the limited amount of patrol officers per shift (two officers per shift) and because of the large volume of daily calls for service, coupled to the fact that we only have two investigators, the Patrol Officer is responsible for investigating as much of each case that they can possibly follow up on, to include solving the case and making an arrest.
When the Patrol Officer is unable to conduct further follow up action, (i.e.: leave the city, contact witnesses, victims and suspects due to their shift schedule, and location, etc.), the Detective Division is then assigned to the case for follow up.
The Sherwood Police Department Criminal Investigation Division is a small unit consisting of two investigators. With Sherwood's residential and business growth rate still on the rise, Detective Jeff Fitzpatrick and I are on a whirlwind of a race to assist victims and to solve the growing number of crimes occurring due to the growth of the City of Sherwood. Don't get me wrong, in comparison to other larger cities; the growth of our crime rate is miniscule. Sherwood is probably one of the most desirable communities to live in today in the State of Oregon, and even at it's present growth rate it is going through, in the future, we know that the same small town atmosphere that it has always had will still prevail.
Detective Fitzpatrick investigates paper crimes, (identity theft, forgery, and other types of computer fraud) and property crimes, (thefts of property, vehicles, criminal mischief, etc.), while I investigate people crimes, (rape, child abuse, physical abuse, robberies, etc.) With many of the before mentioned types of crimes, two investigators are actually needed in order to investigate some crimes due to the fact that officer safety is the number one concern and that in many of the mentioned type cases the criminal is possibly armed and or dangerous.
In this past year our rate of solving paper and property crimes has increased tremendously. Yet, as Detective Fitzpatrick has pointed out, without the assistance from witnesses coming forward and the assistance from larger police agencies, who have larger information networks, solving these at times complex crimes would be impossible.
The connected wired future is actually here now. Making use of the array of electronic tools that exist in our computer wired world, along with observant citizens, can make all the difference in how quickly a case can be solved. E-mailing, digital cameras, electronic finger printing, scanners, and cell phones, etc. are tools that are helping us to connect the pieces that help to solve crimes.
We appreciate your assistance and information concerning suspicious activity and with details that might not be of immediate relevance to you, but as we connect the pieces to the puzzle, the eventual picture that takes form can eventually solve the case.
Detective Sergeant Dwight Onchi is the public information officer for the Sherwood Police Department and the City of Sherwood.