Reporting lewd conduct and its importance - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Reporting lewd conduct and its importance

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TRI-CITIES, WA - Shocking and inappropriate are just a couple of ways to describe lewd conduct. Within the last few weeks, local police departments seem to be sharing more reports and arrests of lewd conduct, a crime they need your help putting a stop to.

From surveillance video released by Richland Police to Facebook posts from Kennewick Police, lewd behavior seems to be happening more frequently as of late, and authorities want you to know your help is important in stopping these types of crimes.

"A lot times they go unreported unfortunately," said Sgt. Ken Lattin with the Kennewick Police Department, "and we'd like to know about it from the very beginning, before they escalate."

Lewd conduct is the public exposure of genitals: inappropriate and shocking to experience. That's why JoDee Garretson, who works with abuse victims, says if you see something like that you should be concerned.

"There are times when offenders can choose to do something like that to kind of test out the waters, and see how much they can get away with the person," said Garretson, Executive Director of Support, Advocacy & Resource Center (SARC).

Officials are urging the community that if you see something or think you see something like this, take note of it and report it.

"Err on the side of caution," said Sgt. Lattin. "Call us...your instincts are not normally wrong. If you think you saw something, generally you did."

"We can often second-guess ourselves and wonder if it was it really that big a deal, maybe it happens often, but it really takes all the eyes and ears of our community to keep each other safe," said Garretson.

Call 911 if you see anything inappropriate, and if you need support SARC is available 24 hours a day, at (509)-374-5391.