Crime Prevention

Crime prevention starts with you. Your willingness to be watchful at home, when shopping and at work and report suspicious activity to police enhances the ability of police to respond and address a potentially serious situation. Your willingness to take steps to secure your home and business and engage in practices that minimize your becoming a victim in any way is a positive step in helping reduce crime overall. Crime prevention is both physical activity and a personal belief that combined benefits not only you but your family, neighbors, fellow workers and community. We encourage you to take those steps and actions to make you safer and also to report suspicious activity immediately by calling the Cottage Grove Police Department at 608-255-2345 or by dialing 911 if it appears to be a crime in progress.

Sir Robert Peale

Sir Robert Peale (1788-1850), a noted criminologist of the 19th Century, left us with this philosophy, which is as true today as when he spoke it,

“The police are the public, the public are the police. The police are only members of the public, who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen, in the interest of community welfare and existence.”
Sir Robert Peel: 1788-1850
Many times we call on the police to solve the community’s problems, however, the Police are only a part of keeping our community safe. Sure the Police can improve their investigation techniques, arrest more criminals, and practice good crime prevention. But we can’t do much to control the climate of crime.

Climate of Crime

The “climate of crime” means the level of comfort a criminal feels when committing the crime. Do they confident they won’t get caught? Do they think witnesses won’t care enough to call police? Do they think others will protect them from arrest? Or do they believe that the neighbor will call to report their wrongdoing? Do they understand that witnesses will confront them or at least report them? Do they sense that this community has very little tolerance for crime and disorder?

The climate of crime is primarily controlled by you. Your response to crime, your intolerance of crime, your demand for prosecution of those who threaten our quality of life assures our community will remain safe.

Responsibility to Do Better

It is therefore our responsibility not just to patrol better, or investigate better, we need to understand how to help you control the climate of crime. We committed to partnering with you in order to employer you, mobilize resources for you and learn from in order to prevent criminals from becoming comfortable in our community. The most important thing to remember is that if it causes you concern and you see it or hear it, don’t wait, report it right away!

Please take the time to visit each subsection to the right provides valuable information to help you help us keep our community safe. If you do not find what you are looking for or would just like to talk with an officer about any concerns or questions you may have please call the department at 608-839-4652.

Crime Prevention

Officers are available to conduct crime prevention surveys of businesses and residential locations in the community. Crime statistics, literature and materials, Operation Identification, Neighborhood Watch and Business Watch are also part of the department’s crime prevention efforts. Citizens and the business community are encouraged to become partners with the department in this proactive effort. Contact us to learn more about these and other programs and how you can help. The department uses Crime Prevention Notices as a means of providing feedback to citizens or businesses on areas where an officer has observed a situation where action can be taken to prevent or deter crime from occurring. If you receive such a notice and have questions please contact the business office.