Approximately one month ago, our community faced a significant crisis. It was the sort of crisis that I had not seen during my last decade as the chief of police or even in the previous 24 years of law enforcement experience. I'm sure all of you reading this understand that I am referencing Jasmine Block, who went missing from her residence on August 8. I do not intend to delve into the details of that case, although it is a gripping yet tragic story, with ultimately a positive result.
Partnerships between the community and the Alexandria Police Department is of the utmost importance when it comes to setting goals and steering the course for this agency. Those of you that read this column with any regularity have heard me talk about it before and I will continue to as it is something that I am passionate about and I recognize how vital this can be in a community.
The explosion of technology, whether that is social media or the constant barrage of the various news outlets, has certainly changed how law enforcement conducts business from time to time. The average person has Internet access right in their pocket today. Because of this convenience, the endless supply of information is available to you at all times and any interruption to your ability to gather information can be a source of frustration for some citizens. This can be especially problematic when there is a critical incident or other newsworthy event that occurs within the community.