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Contacting LEO


Mag Magician
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Today, as a representative of our provincial geocaching association, I made the attempt to contact the Community Liaison Officer at the detachment. I wanted to inform the local constabulary about our past-time, and what some strange weirdos are doing skulking about in the bushes and roadside attractions. :ninja:

 

I was greeted, much less than enthusiastically, during a telephone conversation, with the assurance that he would pass on the little information he gleaned of a 5 minute conversation, to the local officers.

 

Is it just the small town attitude, or is our local police detachment just not that worried about terrorist attacks and bomb threats? In reading all the previous threads regarding having LEO made aware of what we are doing, I assumed that it was a good thing? OK, the Community Liaison Officer has been approached. What extra steps can a person take to ensure that LEO does not take someone to task for a harmless sport?

 

This all came about because I was doing maintenance on a hide, and a local officer driving by gave me a very inquisitorial look. You know, the sideways glance that said "I'm busy now, but if I wasn't, boy, would you be on my list." :(

Edited by Mag Magician
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Today, as a representative of our provincial geocaching association, I made the attempt to contact the Community Liaison Officer at the detachment. I wanted to inform the local constabulary about our past-time, and what some strange weirdos are doing skulking about in the bushes and roadside attractions. :(

 

I was greeted, much less than enthusiastically, during a telephone conversation, with the assurance that he would pass on the little information he gleaned of a 5 minute conversation, to the local officers....

 

LEO interest varies. Overall the best approach I've seen is to get some of the officers hooked on caching. When their own caches, you have build in advocates who understand both sides of the cacher/LEO line. Plus they have first hand knowledge of caches in the area. That's a lot better than a random doofie with a list of caches.

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I asked for a face to face meeting

As a cop, I can say this is excellent advice. Crawl your way up the chain of command till you reach the top, (at that local precinct), and ask if you can give a presentation on the game. Explain why it would benefit the agency to have the information you wish to provide. Bring in props, (caches of various sizes, GPSr's, etc), bring in flyers, see if they have a projector that can link to the Internet so you can show them actual cache pages.

Have fun and good luck!

-Sean

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I dont worry much about LE unless I find something that warrants their attention. However we do notify the local PD and Sheriff's Office before our annual event. We make sure that they realize that there are people from 4 other states present and not to be overly alarmed when they see a vehicke with Wisconsin plates in rural southern IL.

 

LCAS-271

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When I hid some caches in a town where there were none, I called the police department in that town. Since no caches were in the town, I wasn't sure if they were familiar with caching and wanted to let them know about it and the hides in case they got any calls or saw someone searching for them.

 

I was told to email the lieutenant in charge of patrols through the police website with the information, so I did that and wrote a short email quickly explaining caching and also attached a PDF brochure explaining it in more detail. I also included the location and style of hides in case they got a call so they'd know about it.

 

A few weeks later, the police got a call and sent their K-9 unit and bomb squad out. They wrote a funny log in the logbook, apologizing for destroying the container and saying that no GPS was needed...all they used was their dog with a good nose.

 

Apparently the info I sent never made it to the patrol officers who would have known about the hide when the call came in.

 

After that, I took a different approach and would notify the town's park and rec department, who eagerly encouraged me to hide caches and let them know when they were placed so they could tell people about them who are looking for places to go hiking in town and to encourage trail volunteers to look for them when they would have trail clean up days...not to remove them but to find them. :ph34r:

 

Edit for typo.

Edited by Skippermark
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I asked once for a F2F meeting with someone in LE and I was grilled about what I wanted and why I was asking for F2F. Then I was asked for my ID. I was standing at the front window.

I won't do that again.

Your choice. Personally, I would think our receptionist was remiss in her duties if she allowed someone into the non-public regions of our building without knowing who they were and what they wanted. Strange as this might seem to you, there are actually folks out there who don't like law enforcement, and if they were to discover that our inner offices were no longer secure, they might try to cause mayhem.

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I asked once for a F2F meeting with someone in LE and I was grilled about what I wanted and why I was asking for F2F. Then I was asked for my ID. I was standing at the front window.

I won't do that again.

Your choice. Personally, I would think our receptionist was remiss in her duties if she allowed someone into the non-public regions of our building without knowing who they were and what they wanted. Strange as this might seem to you, there are actually folks out there who don't like law enforcement, and if they were to discover that our inner offices were no longer secure, they might try to cause mayhem.

 

If you've got nothing to hide then you shouldn't mind if I look around a bit. :ph34r:

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.....Overall the best approach I've seen is to get some of the officers hooked on caching. When their own caches, you have build in advocates who understand both sides of the cacher/LEO line. Plus they have first hand knowledge of caches in the area......

 

The only cop I know personally on this force has a real hate on for me. :ph34r:

When I got t-boned a couple of years ago, she tried to pin a dui on me because I had one beer for lunch just before the accident. I beat the breathalyzer, hands down, and she walked away in disgust, vowing that someday she would prove I drink while driving. :ph34r:

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I asked once for a F2F meeting with someone in LE and I was grilled about what I wanted and why I was asking for F2F. Then I was asked for my ID. I was standing at the front window.

I won't do that again.

Your choice. Personally, I would think our receptionist was remiss in her duties if she allowed someone into the non-public regions of our building without knowing who they were and what they wanted. Strange as this might seem to you, there are actually folks out there who don't like law enforcement, and if they were to discover that our inner offices were no longer secure, they might try to cause mayhem.
If you've got nothing to hide then you shouldn't mind if I look around a bit. :D
:ph34r::ph34r::ph34r:
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Is it just the small town attitude, or is our local police detachment just not that worried about terrorist attacks and bomb threats?

 

I would imagine that would depend on how many terrorist attacks have actually happened in the country in the last few years, and how many bomb threats they have had to deal with locally in the last few years.

 

Personally, I would think that info about geocaching could be extremely useful to LE departments: info on websites that list geocache coordinates, how to use Google Earth to track local cache locations, and that geocaching itself would be excellent training for spotting things that have been hidden (whether that be drugs, explosives, or whatever).

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In my area, it's hit or miss.

 

I wouldn't call a meeting in the town I'm in, even if the LEOs are cool with it because I know the director of Parks & Rec is vehemently against anything in "his" parks. There are worse than him so when those worse chase him out, things may change. In the meanwhile, I wouldn't want word to get back to him. The bottom line is that as long as you don't fit the stereotypical profile of what the department considers a gang member, you're okay to poke around in the bushes.

 

The County just south of me is awesome. I'd talk with them but they probably already know. There have been sponsored cache events in the area and there's a hide right outside a police/fire station. The most a LEO has ever done is stopped to ask if I need help.

 

So, I'd say that before someone arranges a sit down with LEO, get a feel for the department and their priorities. It might not be an issue of Homeland Security, per se, as much as other crime issues that concern them. But if a cacher has good intentions and ends up giving a psycho Park & Rec Dir. a new crusade, it wouldn't be that cacher's fault at all. :ph34r:

 

- Elle

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Well as a LEO, I can tell you that not only will the response vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but from agency to agency and even officer to officer. Some will be interested just on a curiosity level and some will be interested on a "o.k., good to know in case we run up on this." Some agencies are really good about passing information "down to the troops" while others only so if it affects daily operations. Bottom line I think that if your approached(others read harrassed :ph34r: ) by the local LEO's while searching/hiding then simply inform that officer of what is going on. He/she will pass it on to the others the next time the "respond to a suspicious person with tupperware" call comes in and then it will get passed along. I know other officers who cache and alot of them who don't know about just from me passing it along in general conversation. So suffice to say, if your having a problem in a particular area or a particular cache, it may warrant a visit to the local PD to pass it on, if not cache on and deal with it on a case by case basis. Just my humble 2cents...

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When we hosted Geowoodstock 5 last year, a local caching LEO sent out a bulletin to the local agencies. Many of them were already aware of our activity but ever since then I haven't heard of anyone being hassled while looking for caches.

 

I've had a handful of conversations with LEO's while caching and the reactions have ranged from "you are violating the cruising laws of this town and need to leave or be detained" (Franklin TN) to 'cool-I've heard of that, want some help finding it?" (Jacksonville FL). Oddly both of these extreme responses were late at night after another Geowoodstock!

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I've had a handful of conversations with LEO's while caching and the reactions have ranged from "you are violating the cruising laws of this town and need to leave or be detained" (Franklin TN) to 'cool-I've heard of that, want some help finding it?" (Jacksonville FL). Oddly both of these extreme responses were late at night after another Geowoodstock!

I've never had a problem with LEOs while caching. Like you found, the response is mixed.

 

We've been told that we should probably leave once the sun sets, not because we're doing anything wrong, but because the area isn't really safe after dark.

 

At GW6, last year, a LEO assisted us by shining his light on the search area so we could see better, and 2 security guards came over and looked too...and this was at 2 in the morning!

 

Later that night, we were still in the same area and the police would toot and wave if they drove past us.

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