Open communication lines

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As a Soldier who has lived in on-post housing at every duty station over 12 plus years, I have seen periods where crime in on-post neighborhoods has spiked. However, one of the most effective ways these incidents were reduced and eliminated was through open dissemination of timely and accurate information to residents from Garrison and the Post Housing Office. The open communication reduced the “rumor mill,” aided in stopping the crimes from happening, and gave the residents a sense of genuine concern that helped reduce our anxiety about the safety of our children and families.
Over the past three to four weeks, Fort Knox has experienced a significant increase in criminal activity in our neighborhoods, particularly in the Oak Park and Chestnut Glen communities. Though the MPs have stepped up their efforts to reduce the current trend, the numbers of reported incidents continues to rise. Recent events include: confirmed vehicle and home break-ins, an alleged “peeping Tom” and, most worrisome, an alleged stranger on child incident. To date, we have had to rely on Facebook posts and neighborhood interactions to learn of these incidents. Nothing has come from Knox Hills or Knox Garrison addressing the crimes, separating fact from fiction, or giving us a plan of action to reduce these incidents. Perhaps Knox Hills and Fort Knox could try what has proven effective elsewhere:
Opening the lines of communication with residents and letting us know they are concerned enough about our safety to actually take action.
Gregg Rivers
Fort Knox

Garrison Commander Response to the Letter to the Editor:
With my top priority being the safety and security of all those who live, work and play on Fort Knox, I appreciate that there are others in the Fort Knox community who share a willingness to help in this endeavor.
Our Directorate of Emergency Services does a great job keeping Fort Knox safe, but another important component to our overall success is community involvement. As is always the case, we encourage everyone to be vigilant. If someone notices something unusual or of concern, that person should contact Fort Knox Police immediately at (502) 624-2111. That is what they are here for, and they can be reached at all hours of the day. If a legitimate emergency exists, call 911.
Regarding concerns over incidents in on-post neighborhoods, I want to assure the community there has not been a rash of recent criminal activities taking place. Rather, there are two non-injury cases that are potentially criminal in nature being investigated, which in part have created a heightened alert among some residents and prompted additional phone calls to Fort Knox Police on any items deemed of concern, out of the ordinary, or that may be of assistance to law enforcement. That’s understandable, and is in fact welcomed. Input from residents always helps Fort Knox Police in better serving the community. The team takes each call seriously and acts upon them all as well.
If someone ever has a question or worry, I always recommend reaching out to Fort Knox Police directly. I do not doubt there are rumors on social media sites about Fort Knox—safety related or otherwise. It is for this reason why contacting the most appropriate organization to learn the ground truth is the best approach if one has concerns. This can also help curb and correct instances of misinformation that someone may hear in conversation or see on the Internet somewhere.
If there is a community-wide message that needs to be disseminated, and social media is seen as an appropriate information medium to help with that effort, the official Fort Knox Facebook page will be used. I encourage everyone to visit that page at https://www.facebook.com/FortKnoxKY to retrieve such messages. Our Community Relations Office monitors and updates the page daily.
I thank the writer for sharing his concern. Together, as a community, we can keep Fort Knox a safe place for everyone.
Strength Starts Here!
Army Strong!
Col. T.J. Edwards
Fort Knox Garrison Commander