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Burton CARES new policing program will use door hangers to share safety tips and concerns

Burton Police Department currently looking for community members to join new program
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 10:43 PM EDT
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BURTON, Mich. (WJRT) - Law enforcement across our nation are seeing spikes in violent crime since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s no different in Mid-Michigan, but one police department is announcing new programs and ideas to fight back.

Even so, they can’t do it without a strong relationship with people living in the community.

According to Burton Police Chief Brian Ross, there were 14 offenses involving weapons in 2019, but in 2020, there were 50.

”We’ve upped our traffic stops. We’ve upped our neighborhood patrols. We are finding these now,” Ross said.

Burton Police are continuing the fight back, creating a weekend task force for the south end of the city in spots where police are seeing a spike in crime.

As soon as this summer, you might start to notice door hangers spread throughout the city too.

”We’re going to go around and put on peoples’ doors whenever officers see an issue. One of the complaints we usually get is that they never see the police. Well we’re there. We just haven’t been in contact and let people know we’re there, so I think this will help both ways,” Ross said.

Those concern could include an open garage door or an unlocked car. They also include safety tips to prevent crime. It’s all part of their newest initiative, “Burton CARES,” also known as the “Community and Resident Equality Service” program. It’s made up of eleven officers from every rank of the department and will also include community members

“I hope that the residents will feel safe. I hope that they’re going to understand that we are out there doing work. We’re out there doing everything we can to protect them, and we will stop at no end to make sure that happens,” Ross said.

So far, community reaction on Facebook has been mostly supportive with community members even asking to get involved.

Others say they don’t want a door hanger to attract criminals to see what someone has missed.

Ross says if you’re interested in joining, you can reach out to him throughout this month.

To do that, fill out the form on their Citizen Request Center by clicking here.

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