By Chris T. Wilson
A new blog has gone live on the Internet recently with the intent of bringing an open dialogue between citizens of the Ojai Valley and the Ojai Police.
Ojai Valley News senior editor Lenny Roberts said he was inspired to set up the blog following comments made by Administrative Sgt. Steve Arthur during an OVN in-depth interview conducted by managing editor Misty Volaski on Sept. 9.
The blog address, ovncops.blogspot.com/, allows readers to e-mail “legitimate questions regarding police issues,” to firstname.lastname@example.org, which Roberts will then post on the blog to be answered by Sgt. Arthur.
“We often hear grumblings about the police, and maybe this will be a way to give the public the opportunity to ask intelligent questions and get them answered,” Roberts said.
Arthur said that when he was stationed in Camarillo before being transferred to the Ojai Substation recently, that he would answer questions from the public on a local television station.
“I think we can do a better job about letting the public know what we can do for the community and what the community can do to help us do a better job of policing,” Arthur said. “I want people to know that the station number, 646-1414, is a place to call in tips and that they can remain confidential.”
Capt. Chris Dunn said he’s happy to have the blog as a way to offer a greater layer of transparency for the department with the public.
“I thought this would be a nice way to have a two-way communication with the community that we serve,” Dunn said. “This is a way that we can address issues and inform people about how we operate and help them understand what we do that they may not know about.”
A link to this blog, and other informative pages — including restaurant closures, Ojai’s Wanted, CHP and Fire Department updates — is located under the “Our Community” banner on the right side of the Ojai Valley News website home page, ojaivalleynews.com.
“I think the more information we can put up for the public and let them decide what to do with it, the better,” Roberts said.