Community policing opens doors
by Lexi Bainas -- Citizen
The South End's Community Policing program is celebrating the one year anniversary of its Mill Bay Centre office with a special event on Thursday, July 4 from 4-6 p.m.
According to Julie Rosenthal, the centre's program coordinator, there's lots to be happy about.
"We launched our Friendly Phones, where we call people who want to get a phone call every day. That's been a great program, and just recently we've started our positive tickets program with the RCMP.
"That started June 15 and there's a draw Sept. 28. Kids are ticketed for doing something right, like wearing their helmets, or helping in the community, walking on the proper side of the road. It's all about noticing when they are doing something good. And the RCMP officers give out those tickets," she said.
Mounties go out looking for those kids.
"They go out to skateparks and other places. It was interesting that Const. Kevin Hopkinson said the first time he went to the skatepark the kids wouldn't go near him but after about the third time they all started coming up and saying hello. The purpose of that program is definitely building that relationship with the youth and the police," Rosenthal said.
"Local businesses have donated smaller prizes to give out when the kids get a ticket. And then we have major prizes, worth about a hundred dollars, that local businesses have donated and we're going to have a draw for those out of the ones who have brought in their tickets."
So, South Cowichan residents, drop in on July 4. Board members and some of Community Policing's volunteers will be on hand and you can enjoy coffee and treats as you share your ideas.
"It's just to talk to the community. We want to be open and talk with people to hear what they would like to have out of our community policing office and such. It's basically a celebration," Rosenthal said.
Team community policing unit debuts in Downtown Toledo
TOLEDO, Ohio - The safety of the people who live and work in Downtown Toledo is the focus of a new, unique patrol team.
13 ABC's Christine Long went on a ride-a-long with the unit which hit the streets this week for the first time.
This is the blending of two law enforcement agencies. One Toledo Police officer and one Lucas County Sheriff's deputy are working together in one vehicle to patrol the downtown business district.
Their goal is to cut crime downtown.
Wednesday marks Day Number Three for this freshly painted squad car and its new team.
"It's not all the time about arresting. It's all about helping," says TPD Officer Tony Duncan.
Duncan and Lucas County Sheriff's Deputy Kurtis Whitman wear different uniforms, but there is no competition.
"We are both very excited to be working together," says Whitman. "It's something that's unprecedented. Something that's never been done before. We just want to make everyone proud."
Together, the two now patrol the Downtown Toledo area by car and on foot. They work Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
"This is really, truly a big deal today," says Toledo Mayor Mike Bell.
The mayor and Lucas County Commissioners formally unveiled the downtown community policing team on Wednesday. It was formed in response to complaints from businesses.
The owner of Brooks Insurance, which is located on Madison Street across the street from the library, says his employees don't feel safe.
"They see criminal elements. We've had car break-ins," says Dennis Johnson, the owner of Brooks Insurance.
Officer Duncan and Deputy Whitman walked around the library talking to folks on Wednesday. They want to get to know everyone in the downtown area on a first name basis.
"We are giving our officers business cards with their cell phone numbers on it," says Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp. "If businesses need to talk to the officers, they no longer have to call 9-1-1."
"It's not going to solve or eliminate the problem, but it'll be a help in managing the problem," says Johnson.
"Most people want to see this community and downtown area thrive," says Duncan. "And that's what it's all about. That's what we're here to do. To make a comeback alive and feel safe downtown."