City and county officials have introduced a team policing unit that will be dedicated to patrolling the downtown and uptown business district area.
The unit will include one Toledo police officer and one Lucas County sheriff's deputy who will circulate the downtown courthouse square and business district area together. The area includes a mix of office and residential space, as well as social service and criminal justice buildings.
"This is yet another way the city and the county can partner to address the concerns of our citizens and businesses," said Toledo Mayor Mike Bell. "I appreciate the sheriff and the commissioner's efforts to devote staffing to this patrol unit and their ongoing efforts to collaborate for the benefit of Toledo and Lucas County."
Officials were joined by business leaders from the downtown area who voiced support for the dedicated patrol in the business district.
"Downtown is a neighborhood, and we're going to treat it that way. And we're going to do the community policing strategies we need to do to enhance public safety," said Police Chief Derrick Diggs.
Business owners are encouraged to meet and greet the two law enforcement officers as they see them on patrol.
"We're giving our officers business cards with their cell phone numbers on it. Businesses - if they need to talk to the officers - they no longer have to call 911," said Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp.
While the pair will have a specially-marked vehicle, they will also walk the downtown area, allowing them to reach out and interact with business owners, hear concerns and be aware of changing circumstances in the downtown and uptown districts.
Dennis Johnson, with Brooks Insurance Agency, says an increased police presence can help erase any perceptions of downtown Toledo being unsafe.
"With a dedicated resource in the downtown neighborhood, we now have a resource to go to when there is a problem and we can get some results," said Johnson.
Julie Champa, with UpTown Association, also applauds the move, saying it can go a long way towards retaining and attracting new businesses and residents to the area.
"They can be the eyes and ears on the streets. We at UpTown are big on boots on the streets. It's the only way you're going to identify the major problems," said Champa.
Bell says if the effort proves to be successful, the city and county can team up for patrols in other areas.
"Sheriff Tharp deserves a lot of praise for continuing to identify opportunities for jurisdictional coordination," said the Board of Lucas County Commissioners. "This is an extension of community policing. Community policing is not a program, but a philosophy that the sheriff and his deputies strive to uphold everyday."
Thursday, December 12 2013 8:27 AM EST2013-12-12 13:27:21 GMT
Former Suns star and current broadcaster Tom Chambers has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, Scottsdale police records stated. Chambers, 53, was arrested Saturday at East Pinnacle Vista DriveMore >
The 53-year-old has apologized to the NBA team and its fans after being arrested in Scottsdale Saturday night on suspicion of DUI.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:05 AM EST2013-12-11 16:05:29 GMT
Claudia Ann Lucero, Alex Madrid
Mesa police have announced they've made an arrest in the death of a 14-year-old girl whose body was found in a trash container early Friday morning. Officers said they took the victims' mother's ex-boyfriendMore >
Alex Madrid, 31, of Mesa, a convicted felon and the boyfriend of the victim's mother, was taken into custody in connection with the death of 14-year-old Claudia Ann Lucero, who was strangled and sexually assaulted, police said.More >
Thursday, December 12 2013 1:02 AM EST2013-12-12 06:02:20 GMT
Kyle DeBerry (Source: Goodyear Police Department)
A former wrestling coach in the west Valley has been arrested on sex charges, Goodyear police said Wednesday. Kyle DeBerry, 25, was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of luring a minor forMore >
Kyle DeBerry, 25, was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and assault.More >
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:42 AM EST2013-12-12 05:42:07 GMT
A California family whose dog went missing during an Arizona camping trip a year and a half ago didn't think they'd ever see him again. But, fortunately, they were wrong. This is video of the emotionalMore >
A California family whose dog went missing during an Arizona camping trip a year and a half ago didn't think they'd ever see him again. But, fortunately, they were wrong.More >
Tuesday, December 10 2013 3:03 PM EST2013-12-10 20:03:34 GMT
A Ponchatoula, La. woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning after being charged with child desertion. She was accused of putting her child in an ice chest, along with a gas can, and closing the lid. JamiMore >
A Ponchatoula, La. woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning after being charged with child desertion. She was accused of putting her child in an ice chest, along with a gas can, and closing the lid.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 10:46 AM EST2013-12-11 15:46:14 GMT
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Tuesday he will house about 150 military veteran inmates under one roof in a segregated section of the Towers Jail facility. The new military veterans housing unit will featureMore >
"They fight for us overseas, so, we must fight for them here," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "When their duty is done, ours has just begun."More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:11 PM EST2013-12-12 00:11:25 GMT
At a time when many college students are clamoring for scholarships to help cover the rising cost of tuition, a 25-year-old Grand Canyon University student has turned one down. "I'm not going to allowMore >
A Grand Canyon University student has turned down a $10,000 scholarship to live on campus in favor of living at an apartment complex with the people he serves.More >