YUMA, AZ - In wake of the delay in informing the media about an attempted kidnapping, newly elected Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot says changes will take place moving forward.
We showed Sheriff Wilmot a copy of the Yuma Sun's editorial article that criticizes his department.
Wilmot tells KSWT News 13 he accepts full responsibility.
We spoke to a mother who agrees reporting an attempted kidnapping is critical information the public should be immediately warned about.
"I kind of feel insecure," said Judith Rojas. She's a mother of two little boys and says she wants all police agencies to immediately notify the media so the media can then notify the public, especially when it involves a predator who tries to kidnap a child.
"I want to be able to count on the police, the sheriff department to be able to inform the city of what's going on," she said.
Sheriff Wilmot says he's read the Yuma Sun editorial criticizing his department for failing to immediately inform the public about a man who tried to snatch a 6-year old girl from the arms of her 17-year old sister.
It happened Monday in broad daylight along 8th Street. KSWT News 13 learned about it Tuesday morning.
"We're very fortunate the little girl was not kidnapped in this case and it's something we definitely are going to improve on," said Sheriff Wilmot.
In taking accountability, Sheriff Wilmot says he is making good on one of his campaign promises to develop better communication between his department, the media, and the community.
Sheriff Wilmot says his deputies will receive training next month on how to get the word out quicker in critical situations.
"Unfortunately we don't have the luxury of having a full time public information officer so we have to utilize our available resources," he said. "The supervisors that are working and have an event like this can actually call up the captain; put together a rough draft press release just to get out the basic information."
Meanwhile, Rojas says her kids are well informed on what to do when they encounter a kidnapper.
"We've talked about it and I hope that's good enough to really make it work if that situation does happen."
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