Police survey residents

First Posted: 1/9/2015

LIMA — Police officers hit the streets in the bitter cold this month going door to door on Faurot Avenue to talk to residents about problems affecting their neighborhoods.

John and Erin Fike told Officer Bryce Garman things are better than several years ago when someone was murdered in the street in front of their home. But they said there are still problems. Sometimes during the summer, people park in front of their home and walk down an alley to what they suspect is a drug house.

“Drugs,” John Fike said, is the No. 1 problem in the neighborhood.

Garman asked how the Police Department could help.

“The more police on patrols there are the less trouble there is,” John Fike said.

Erin Fike asked when it was appropriate to call the Police Department.

Garman said anytime they had a concern.

Officers began surveying the area bordered by West Elm Street, North Shore Drive, and South Collett and South Metcalf streets, about two months ago. The plan is to hit every house to collect information to learn of the primary problems in the neighborhood.

It’s part of an effort began five years ago called pinpoint policing. Officials try to mix the 20-year-old concept of community policing by sending officers to homes to talk to residents about problems in the neighborhood with computer mapping.

The computer picks areas with spikes in crime. Police officials go to those areas to question residents on problems. Once the surveys are complete, officials analyze the information and form a plan to attack the problems, usually by flooding areas with officers to target problems.

So far, Maj. Jim Baker said, the biggest problems identified are people want more of presence to tackle the drug problem. Noise, such as loud music, is another problem identified.

Earlie R. Smith III was shoveling snow on Faurot Avenue when Garman stopped to talk. He said loud music was a problem he had in the neighborhood along with the occasional neighbor causing problems.

He said the best way to improve relations between police officers and residents is for both sides to treat each other with respect.

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