By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson urged the public to be the best witnesses they can when they see crime.
"We're well equipped to handle the situation," Williamson said Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
Police and deputies need good information and descriptions when responding to crime calls, but let them handle apprehending suspects, he explained.
Simulcast host Scott Cox talked about a burglary he stumbled across in his neighborhood.
"When you see it happening, you don't know what to do," Cox said.
Williamson said Cox did the right thing by calling 911 and giving a license plate number when he saw four youths loading up a truck with stolen items.
"As you described it to me, you did an awesome job," Williamson said.
Cox said he felt like the officer who responded should have given him a high-five -- but he quickly realized the officer had to go inside the home to see if anyone was still inside.
"He's open for business and he's waiting for his back-up to arrive so he can do exactly that," Cox said.
Williamson noted that even when criminals are caught, they may be out of jail just days after their arraignment.
"We have a battle right now that we're not winning," Williamson said.
He pitched the value of Neighborhood Watch, especially groups that are consistent and persistent.
He also urged people to avoid an environment that attracts crime; don't let your bushes overgrow you windows, keep your doors locked.
The chief urged the public to attend one of the National Night Out events happening Tuesday, Aug. 6. The BPD's will be at Mill Creek Park, and the Kern County Sheriff's Office's will be at its headquarters on Norris Road.
The events are a chance for the public to get to know law enforcement, Williamson said.
"These are just regular people doing a difficult job," Cox said.
The chief also shared his department's current 5 most wanted suspects. (Read about them in the attached photos.)