Sanger Police Department suspends pro-active yellow card program
The Sanger Police Department created a new program to help stop an uptick in vehicle burglaries in the Denton County city.
The program lasted four days.
In a letter to the city's community Monday, Sanger Police Chief Waylan Rhodes offered his apologies to anyone who was upset about the department's "yellow card" program.
The program was announced by police on Thursday, March 3, in a Facebook post. Police said officers would be placing yellow cards on vehicle windshields to let the owners know if their vehicles were vulnerable to a burglary.
The department also showed a picture of what the yellow cards would look like. The notice would let residents know if their vehicle was unlocked or had valuable items in plain sight.
The program, however, was quickly met with pushback by the community, with claims the department was violating residents' privacy and that the cards would actually give burglars an advantage.
"Sooo, criminals now just have to look for yellow tags on cars to know which ones are unlocked and which ones have valuables in plain sight?" one person said in Sanger PD's Facebook post.
"I understand your theory here but it’s gonna be a hard no for me. Please don’t touch any of my cars for any reason," another commented. There were 81 comments on the yellow card post and nearly 200 comments after the letter from the Police Chief. Not all the comments were negative, many citizens appreciated the effort from the Sanger Police Department. “Please keep it going Chief! I come from a town where the police are reactive and not proactive! Please keep this going! The citizens will appreciate it!!”
On Monday, the Police Chief responded to the community.
"First and foremost, there was never any intent to upset anyone and/or violate anyone's trust. Anyone that truly felt that way please accept my apology," Chief Rhodes said.
Rhodes said the idea of the program came after the department saw one weekend where 11 cars were burglarized. He said there wasn't any forced entry into the vehicles, either.
He added that officers would have done an "outside visual inspection" of vehicles to check the boxes on the yellow cards. Being a victim of stolen property e.g, iPad, credit cards, driver’s license can give someone access to your personal information, causing even more problems and inconveniences.
"My effort was simply to be creative/proactive..." Rhodes said. "The last thing I want is for the citizens of this community to not trust their police officers."
The chief went on to say that the program would be suspended. Whether your agree or not with the yellow card program, you should appreciate the idea of combating this kind of criminal activity. This brought a lot of attention about people leaving their vehicles unlocked.
Chief Rhodes added, “I still would like to remind everyone to lock your vehicles, remove items of value or hide items of value from plain sight.”