CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Each Wednesday the Clarkstown Police Department features a #WarrantWednesday alert asking for help locating a person wanted for a crime.
This week, the department is asking for help in locating Tiffany Medina, in her mid-20s, who is wanted on a ftheft charge. Her last known address was in Spring Valley.
Putting up the notices is tough for the man in charge of finding, and helping Medina and others like her.
"I would rather sit down over a cup of coffee with her and find a way to help her out of this situation," said Clarkstown PD officer Rich Detoia. "All she has do is call me."
An officer for more than 30 years, Detoia said he has no trouble sending violent or hardened criminals to jail. It's the one's that have committed small crimes that might be in need that he wants to help.
"A lot of these people are wanted for misdemeanor charges that are easily disposed of with community service or paying a small fine, but instead they are afraid and end up in jail," he said.
He points to an elderly person who may have taken a can or two of food because they can't afford to eat as an example. Or a runaway who doesn't know where to turn for help.
Detoia said he treats the "wanted" the way he would anyone else.
"I treat people the way I would want to be treated and help them if I can," he said.
He said it's tough in today's world where everything seems to be "hard" and "unsettled."
"If I can help one person stay out of the system and get them back on track, it will make my day," he added.
And that goes for anyone in Clarkstown who is wanted on a warrant. Pick up the phone and call Detoia. He's open to listen and help.
Detoia can be reached at the Clarkstown's Police Warrant Unit at 845-639-5880.