Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sedgwick Co. Sheriff's deputy Travis Clinesmith knows a thing or two about stolen farm equipment.
"I was raised on a farm," Clinesmith said. "I worked on a farm while getting my degree."
That experience helped lead him to recently create what's known as the ALIN Project.
ALIN is short for "Agriculture Livestock Information Network." Area farmers and construction companies can sign up to receive emails alerting others in their business to be on the lookout for stolen property.
"The more people who know about it, hopefully the better our chances of getting it back," said Chad Pearson of Pearson Excavating.
Pearson recently lost $20,000 worth of equipment when somebody stole a trailer from a west side construction site. On Tuesday, Pearson joined ALIN. He hopes it helps him find what was taken, or at least help in the event it happens again.
In the construction industry, "everybody knows everybody," Pearson said. "We try to watch each other's backs on stuff like that."
Deputy Clinesmith said almost immediately after the program debuted in Sedgwick County, it began to take on a life of its own.
In the last few weeks, law enforcement agencies from across the state have asked to join the network. Clinesmith even received a call from a KBI agent asking to be added to the email lists.
He says he's heard from others in Nebraska and Oklahoma, as well. Clinesmith says a lot of stolen farm and construction equipment is taken out of state -- in some cases, even to Mexico.
Clinesmith says emails are sent out anytime equipment is reported stolen. However, he says it does not take the place of calling 911 to make the initial report.
After a report is filed, ALIN shares the information with those in the system.
For more information, including how to join ALIN, read the Sedgwick Co. Sheriff's Office statement below.
The Sedgwick Co. Sheriff's Office is proud to introduce the Agriculture Livestock Information Network (ALIN). The objective of this program is to more efficiently get information regarding stolen farm equipment, construction equipment, and suspicious activities around your farms and businesses distributed across Sedgwick and surrounding counties. The objective is to quickly inform all participants of suspicious activities and crime in your neighborhood.
If you are an agriculture producer, farmers cooperative, implement dealer or construction business and would like to register for the program or have questions, contact the Sedgwick Co. Sheriff's Office Community Policing Unit at (316) 522-2610, or email Deputy Travis Clinesmith at email@example.com.
Once an individual or business has been put on the distribution list, they will be able to receive emails from ALIN. Anyone can send information to firstname.lastname@example.org but will not receive information until registered.
This program does not take the place of 911. If there is an emergency that requires law enforcement response, call 911. If you have a piece of equipment stolen or there is a suspicious character in your area, call 911. The next step will then be to email email@example.com. Please be sure to send a detailed email describing what was taken, color, brand, year, identifying marks and other descriptive information. If you are reporting a suspicious character, describe all individuals involved, any vehicle information and what the suspects were doing that caught you attention.