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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:09 am 
City Attorney Scavron and Silver City Police Chief Reynolds put this together and Chief Reynolds submitted it for our "How-to" section.

Filing Citizen Complaints And Reporting Crimes Occurring Within The Town Of Silver City.

Citizens are encouraged to be observant of what may be happening in their Town and in that way, assist law enforcement in the preservation of peace and security. If one has been a victim of crime or has witnessed what appears to be a crime, law enforcement should be contacted through Central Dispatch at 388-8840, or 911 if there is an emergency, and the appropriate agency will respond. The following information is provided so as to assist the citizen in his/her understanding of the system, which is governed by law.

1. Citizens should to be aware that police officers may only arrest a suspect when the unlawful activity is witnessed by the officer, or in those special cases proscribed by law.

2. Whether witness or victim, the citizen will be required to write and sign a statement or provide a recorded interview about the incident. Witness statements are relied upon to initiate such investigation. Under most circumstances, the filing of the statement is also a commitment by the complainant or victim to cooperate with the police, and to appear at trial as a witness.

3. Additional police investigation is usually required prior to the submission of a report to the prosecuting authority and usually involves the identification of other witnesses and the seizure of relevant physical evidence. The officer and/or the District Attorney’s Office will then determine if the evidence presented supports the required elements of the reported crime(s). Important in making this determination will be the availability and willingness of witnesses and the victim to testify at trial.

4. If the reported conduct appears to be criminal, a criminal complaint may be filed in the appropriate court. The defendant will be summoned to Court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

5. If the suspect pleads not guilty, then a trial is set and the officer and witnesses/victims are subpoenaed to testify in court. It is essential for the witnesses to arrive on time and be prepared to testify in court on behalf of the prosecution. If the witnesses or victim(s) fails to appear then the complaint may be dismissed or a continuance may be granted, depending on the circumstances. Further, the Court has the discretion to sanction a witness or victim for failure to appear.

After filing a statement, the witness or victim is encouraged to call the investigating officer for updates on the status of the investigation and anticipated Court proceedings. If you have other questions or issues, you may call the Chief of Police at 538-3723.

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