LIMA — On the heels of last week’s National Night Out, a group of local residents took to the streets in an effort to join law enforcement in patrolling Lima neighborhoods.
It’s the second year that Jamie Dixon, 5th ward Lima councilman, participated in the Citizens Walking the Beat event.
“We continue to do the walks, get to know our neighbors — but also let them know that they’re the eyes and ears of the community because, ultimately, if they see something, they need to report it,” said Dixon.
“… It shows that the community is standing together against crime so that the criminals know that if they’re going to do it, they better not do it in our city and that they’ll have to take it elsewhere,” said Kevin Martin, Lima police chief.
There were three groups that branched out from Lima’s Bradfield Community Center Tuesday night. One group walked around the neighborhood near the center while two other groups boarded ACRTA transportation and were dropped off at COP stations elsewhere.
“It’s trying to give citizens an introduction to being a member of Citizen Block Patrol so they can see what we do and see the camaraderie we have in the neighborhoods when we’re out walking and hopefully dispel any fears about joining Citizen Block Patrol,” said Autumn Swanson, neighborhood specialist for the City of Lima.
So what does the Citizen Block Patrol do?
“Basically, Citizen Block Patrol just helps out the police department and also helps to keep our neighborhoods safe and hopefully deter crime from coming into our neighborhood,” said Swanson, who organized the Citizens Walking the Beat event.
Swanson is sure the block patrols are making a difference.
“When you walk through the neighborhood it’s surprising to me how many people talk to us. They just want to know what we’re doing. They want to know who we are, what we’re all about so I think that the main thing is this is utilized for getting to know your neighbors and also showing that we care about our neighborhood,” Swanson added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.