Butler County Times Gazette
  • Citizens help keep streets safe

  • Even in a town with a strong police force and a small crime problem, areas of concern can grow.
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  • Augusta consistently enjoys some of the lowest crime rates in the area.
    But even in a town with a strong police force and a small crime problem, areas of concern can grow if people don't take precautions.
    That scenario played out in the neighborhood around the 1100 block of Euclid. New tenants were believed to be selling drugs from their rented homes. This crime led to more in the area. Some of those crimes included a number of larcenies.
    Residents lost patience quickly.
    Some begin complaining on social media – sometimes even before calling the police to report that crimes.
    But after some discussion, the residents decided to do something about it.
    Gary and Myrna Rogers contacted their City Council members and ended up hosting a meeting of the residents with Police Chief Tyler Brewer and other city officials.
    "We decided to take it on ourselves," Myrna Rogers said. "Now several of us patrol our own streets and alleys at different times during the day and night."
    Chief Brewer said his department appreciates this type of involvement because it helps his officers achieve their mission of keeping the city safe.
    He said officers spoke to landlords in the area and a couple of arrests cleared the burglaries and also helped rid the area of people suspected of bringing some of the illegal activities into the neighborhood.
    He said they term the program Problem Oriented Policing.
    "We need to work with people in the community," Brewer said. "We even sent out a letter in the area asking for help."
    Brewer said the letter wasn't intended to create fear or cause a stir, but to alert residents to the problems in the area and give them ideas on how they could help the police put a stop to it.
    Even with the recent problems resolved, the Rogers and Jami Outhet are working to help keep the program going to make sure their neighborhood stays safe.
    Brewer said as the new officers who have joined the force finish their training, there will be personnel to help groups like this one get started all over town.
    "The success of a neighborhood watch is cooperation and coordination between the police and residents," Brewer said. "I am in favor of anything that makes that happen.
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