Combating Crime with Silent Observer

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Silent Observer has a long history of providing the community a safe, easy and confidential method to report information about crime. When residents use Silent Observer they are helping to right the wrongs of others and in some cases, be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Silent Observer tips in 2016 assisted police in solving 165 crimes. These crimes occurred in every city and suburb in Kent County and may not have been solved had residents not used Silent Observer as their avenue to stop, report or prevent crime. Twenty-five of these crimes took place on school campuses and led to a gun, knives, an assortment of drugs, child pornography and bullying among other school violations.

The results of Silent Observer often happen under the radar. To help illustrate the impact of Silent Observer, here a few solved crimes from the case file.


Three suspect males approached three victims and tried to rob them. Two of the suspects drew their guns. The victims ran while both armed suspects fired multiple shots killing one 17 year old victim.

Bank Robberies

A suspect waited in the teller line for eight minutes at a credit union and when he finally reached the counter he told the teller he had a gun and demanded money. Three days later, he handed a teller a note a bank indicated that he had a gun and demanded money. Tips came in identifying the suspect and he is now serving 15 years in prison.


In August 2015, four people went into a home to rob the occupants. As the four entered they shot a 55 year old man multiple times. The victim may never fully recover from his injuries. After months of investigating, police were able to arrest the four individuals including one who set up the robbery and they have been charged with Assault with Intent to Murder, Armed Robbery, Burglary and Weapons Violations.


Apprehending fugitives and probation/parole absconders continues to be an important directive of the Silent Observer Program. A tip assisted police in locating a man who had fled to Kansas as he was wanted in a double shooting. Another tip led to a person who had fled the State of Florida to run from charges of Grand Theft and Burglary. Tips led police to 33 others wanted for 55 crimes like drugs, back child support, retail fraud, domestic violence and sexual assault.


Drug dealing continues to be a problem in our area. Thanks to tips from community members using Silent Observer as their avenue to report crime, 20 people have been arrested for selling heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills, and 14 weapons have been removed from our streets.