Fighting Crime Together

By: Chris Woodard Email
By: Chris Woodard Email

POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2009 --- 8:30 p.m.

It's the issue Madison police say bothers you most.

Tonight a neighborhood that's had enough and why they aren't waiting for police to help.

Squad cars,flashing lights and crime tape have unfortunately become a common sight in West Madison's Meadowood neighborhood.

But on a peaceful day like today it's easy to see why there's hope.

Neighborhood Association President Lisa Veldran says, "What you probably see now is people in the neighborhood saying we do not want our neighborhood to go down that path."

Veldran says people are taking matters into their own hands, realizing police can't do it alone. Their timing couldn't be better.

This week Madison police found out they won't get the federal money they were hoping for and can't afford to hire the 20 new officers they want.

Michael Scott says, "Even more so when resources are scarce police have to think more carefully about a sensible use of the limited resources they have."

A former police officer, Scott is an expert on Problem Oriented Policing. It's a strategy of working with neighbors. The strategy is especially useful in solving the less violent quality of life type crimes, the one thing Madison Police say they have seen an increase in so far this year.

Scott says, "Identify what exactly is it that's bothering people in this particular community and then start to ask questions. What can the police do what can the community do for itself."

The relationship is already paying off here.

Veldran says police are getting to know the neighbors. They've started a community garden, opened a community center and they're talking about rehabilitating this park.

She says, "I'm encouraged to see that there are ideas out there and we're not just going to sit back and let the police deal with this."

Police say they're still hoping more funding will come around later this year.

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