Sunday, October 12, 2003

Patrols help out community

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

NORTH COLLEGE HILL - Some local volunteers aren't just complaining about crime, they're doing something about it.

Police officials say they have seen a reduction in minor offenses after the formation of the Citizens on Patrol - 25 residents who joined forces with the police to be their eyes and ears on the streets.

Resident Steve West has seen a significant change in his Emerson Avenue neighborhood since the patrol started last summer.

The group of kids near his home moved when the Citizens on Patrol showed up.

"These people made sure they came down here and watched that group," West said. Citizens on Patrol members pledged to take their streets back, one block at a time.

"The neighborhood is changing and in some areas, those changes are not for the good," said member Jean Harp.

The Citizens on Patrol unit has a direct radio to police when working the streets on the weekends in groups of three or more.

"It's definitely a way to stay on top of the neighborhood so it doesn't get worse," said Pat Hartzel, club president.

With 14 full-time and 10 part-time officers covering more than 10,000 residents, the police are grateful.

"It's always good to have more people out there, to have the citizens involved in their own community," said Frank Petrocelli a police officer and group liaison.

Participants are required to take two hours of training and are given a T-shirt, flashlight, and radio for their patrol.

"We're trying to make the neighborhood as nice a place to live in as possible," Harp said.

For more information or to join,call Hartzel at 521-8335.

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