CAÑON CITY, Colo. - Police officers responding to reports of stolen cheese or M&Ms this week in Cañon City may seem silly.
But Sgt. Clint Robertson said the situation isn't ridiculous because both instances involved shoplifting.
Headlines from the local newspaper, the Cañon City Daily Record, humorously described the responses twice this week.
Michael Alcala, the paper's editor, said the headlines are part of daily coverage of the police crime blotter, and can be serious or funny depending on the incident.
The blotter provides limited details on police response calls.
"We try to be an honest, transparent department," he said. "On our blotter, we list exactly what the initial call was and what details we have. We may learn more information later. We don't automatically post every detail of every case on our daily blotter, but we'll provide it to anyone who asks."
Robertson said posting simple, initial details of a call helps with crime prevention and suspect arrests.
"It may seem silly, but it gets people to pay more attention to what's happening around them," he said. "Shoplifting is a crime that can really bring a community down. If people know where it's happening, they can be more alert in looking for clues that can help us."
Robertson said the shoplifting responses don't take time away from more important calls.
"If we have a higher priority, we respond to that immediately," he said. "We spent 10 minutes on that cheese call, but it was 10 minutes well-spent if it helps us deter future crime, or catch a suspect."
Sgt. Tim Walsh said he's received support from residents about the headlines.
"Some people are going to say the police aren't doing what they're supposed to, that we should be out catching drug dealers," he said. "Other people are going to see humor in it. Some will see it as a sad state of affairs when people feel they need to steal a bag of M&M's."
Residents who spoke with KRDO NewsChannel Thursday expressed mixed feelings about the situation.
"I can see both sides," said Tyler Lewisa Kuretich. "I'm 60 percent for the police perspective and 40 percent against it. It does seem to be a waste of resources to respond to stolen snacks."
Jimmie Sue Myers said she doesn't need details to be convinced that officers are doing their jobs.
"I think just the basic, get-to-the-point, is good enough," she said. "I don't think they have to tell all the details."