Saginaw leaders rolling out expanded community policing program - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw leaders rolling out expanded community policing program

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SAGINAW (WJRT) - (04/24/14) - The Saginaw Police Department is rolling out a new community policing system. They say it should address your neighborhood problems - faster.

But it's more than just a patrol program - it's meant to solve issues, big and small, all over the city.

This means going after obvious problems like crime, but also addressing those quieter, localized problems such as blight, broken street lamps, etc.

"People need to stop just going home at night locking their doors and not coming out again," said Debbie Melkonian, president of the Adams Boulevard Neighborhood Association.

The desire to bring back that sense of community led Melkonian to get involved with her neighborhood group.

So when she learned about Saginaw's new quadrant-style community policing program, she said,  "I think it's better than sliced bread."

The program teams up police with SCENIC - or the saginaw code enforcement team. They plan to divide up the city into four sections, or quadrants.

"So that they can focus on what they're doing instead of spending a lot of time driving from one end of the city to the other," said John Stemple, Saginaw's Chief Inspector.

They want to hear what's troubling neighbors - whether it's an abandoned home or a broken street light or anything in between.

"The SCENIC officer will be at your neighborhood association meetings that's where you can share your concerns," said Police Chief Brian Lipe.

"And I just think once it's in place it truly will make a difference," Melkonian said.

Right now, police have three community officers - they'll be adding one more for this program.

This is scheduled to start May 2.
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