Here is the Lancaster City Police Department’s “Top 10 Warrant List of Persons” for the week of December 13, a list of the criminals with the most outstanding warrants in Lancaster, PA.
This List is Causing Tension
I didn’t expect these weekly re-posts of a list available on the city’s website to be as polarizing as they have been. I’ll continue to re-post the list each week, because I believe:
- Spreading information on wanted criminals is helpful to the common good.
- These posts spark conversation, and public discourse in an inherent good.
- True controversy about local issues causes us to think and to hear other ideas, and as such is also an inherent good.
In response to last week’s post, a senior member of the city administration wrote on my Facebook wall:
Daniel, just so you know, the Warrant Top Ten is not at all intended to be a list of the Lancaster’s “most wanted”. It is as it is described on the Police website; a list of the ten people who have the most outstanding warrants. As it happens, most of these happen to be warrants for unpaid parking tickets. The Police have many other ways of locating those with outstanding warrants for serious criminal activity.
I honor and respect that perspective and intent. I am not, however, won over to change the title of these re-posts here on this blog to “Warrant Top Ten List” because:
- That’s not how actual people think or search. A number of people find these posts (and thus the information on wanted criminals) by searching “Lancaster most wanted” on Google and other search engines. No one is searching for “Lancaster warrant list” or even “Lancaster outstanding warrants.”
- A “most wanted” list is by common practice a list of criminals that the police are so interested in catching that they recruit the public’s help. That’s what this Warrant Top Ten list is.
- The national Most Wanted list has lead the to capture and imprisonment of thousands of known criminals. Whether they intend to or not, Lancaster city police are sending this message to local citizens: “Don’t worry about it; we’ve got it covered when it comes to the really bad guys. You just help us track down the people who don’t pay for parking.” It seems time to trust the citizens enough to give us a real role to play in identifying local criminals. The police regularly releases information on wanted criminals to the local media; why not collect that information and release it in addition to the “Warrant Top Ten” list?
Keep on Commenting, Please
I hope you’ll continue to share your thoughts on this issue in teh comments on this blog. Lancaster has a crime problem, and how we handle that problem is an issue of public concern. We can’t just leave it for others to address.
This Week’s List
For now, we get an extra treat this week: the number one offender doesn’t have a parking problem; he has a drinking problem.
|LANCASTER BUREAU OF POLICE|
|TOP 10 WARRANT LIST OF PERSONS|
|Week of DECEMBER 6, 2009|
|NAME||LAST KNOWN ADDRESS|
|1||Thomas||Tyshon||400 Blk Judie Ln||3 open container, 3 public drunk, 3 purchase alcohol by minor, 1 noise ordinance, 2 disorderly conduct|
|2||Fritsch||Tina||300 Blk N. Queen St.||20 parking|
|3||Knight||Regina||1700 Blk Judie Lane||27 parking|
|4||Rhoads-Coulson||Cara||600 Blk W. Lemon St.||15 parking, 1 trespassing|
|5||Ortiz AKA Ortiz-Ocasio||Maria||100 Blk E. King St.||30 parking, 1 compulsory school, 1 trespassing|
|6||Morales||Jecy AKA Jessica||200 Blk Chester St.||15 parking, 1 driving without a license|
|7||Burgos AKA Adorno-Burgos||Hector||200 Blk W. Strawberry St.||36 parking, 1 driving during suspension|
|8||Vereen||Stacy||600 Blk N. 10th St., Reading||28 parking|
|9||Sides||Laura||200 Blk Hawthorne Dr||10 parking|
|10||Sharpe AKA Spiotto||Tina||800 Blk W. Main St, Ephrata||13 parking|
|Please contact 717-735-1791 with any information on these persons’ location or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|