At the August Council meeting, Chief Sutherlin talked about how local police calls were up considerably, calling it the product of "hard times" and warning city officials that Greencastle may not be immune to the type of crimes seen elsewhere in alarming fashion.
"The things that people are seeing in society could pretty well happen here," Sutherlin said a month ago.
Three weeks later the chief was immersed in a homicide investigation and fielding questions about the death of an 85-year-old widow who was shot to death in her own home.
A week after that, he was releasing information about home burglaries that occurred while residents slept or were elsewhere in their own homes.
At the City Council meeting Tuesday night, Councilor Phyllis Rokicki asked Sutherlin to update the group on the recent rash of incidents that have put Greencastle residents on edge.
Sutherlin declined to reveal specifics of any investigation.
"I will not share any facts," he said from the start before noting his department's two detectives have worked 75-100 hours alone on the cases in question.
"I would encourage our community to lock your doors, lock your windows, lock your cars," he advised.
The chief called the fact that such a heinous crime could occur in broad daylight in the middle of Greencastle "very surreal."
Like most residents, Chief Sutherlin has been accustomed to Greencastle being a safe community, one certainly void of serious crime.
"I live in this community," he said. "I've raised my family in this community.
"We still have crime in Greencastle," he said. "This certainly doesn't happen very often, not as often as in Indianapolis or Terre Haute."
The rise in serious crime is not just a reminder of the times in which we live but also a reminder that we all need to look out for each other, he said.
"If people are concerned about their safety," Chief Sutherlin said, "this is the time for neighborhoods to come together."
He suggested targeting smaller areas for watch groups than the typical boundaries of city wards.
"We're talking about something as small as Ottawa Park or Woods Edge," he said, urging residents to put someone in charge of watching out for neighbors' property and checking regularly on the elderly or shut-ins in their midst.
Neighborhood watch programs will be discussed at upcoming city meetings, he pointed out.
"The community is our eyes," Sutherlin stressed. "We carry the gun and the badge but they're the eyes and ears for us."
He also suggested that residents who observe something unusual should take note of it and let authorities know. If an unusual vehicle seems to be lingering in your neighborhood or if you observe a person out of character for the community, calling police is a good idea.
"We need to prepare ourselves," Sutherlin added. "The unfortunate thing is that Greencastle is finding out we're not immune to what we see happening in other communities."