Paragould officers stepping up patrols to reduce crime

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – Officers in Paragould are part of a "pilot program" targeting patrols at certain areas.  Currently the main focus is being put on the east side of town.  It started about a month ago in hopes that by having extra officers in areas where they get more calls crime will go down.

Corporal Brad Snyder is part of a small group of officers who weren't assigned specific areas to patrol.

Now they're part of a new initiative to provide community oriented policing.

"We're just getting the manpower out and concentrating on areas where we have a high call rate," said Snyder.

Officers are making their presence known by not only driving around the neighborhoods but by getting out and meeting residents.

"Touch base with neighbors and community members to find out how we can help," said Snyder.

Snyder is also a DARE officer so a lot of the kids already know him.  Wednesday afternoon at Labor Park in Paragould Snyder even took a report on a stolen bike from a couple of kids.

"If there are problems in the neighborhood we're here to hopefully curve those with our presence and not necessarily enforcement but by being here will deter any kind of crime or activity," said Snyder.

Residents we talked to are glad to see this change.

"It makes my family feel safer.  When I'm at work at night it makes me feel safer because I know at least they're protected," said Keith Eldridge.

Snyder said officers often get a bad reputation.

"Typically when you see us people have the idea that it's a bad thing," said Snyder.

He said one of their goals is to change how residents see them.

"We always want to be approachable to the public.  We always want them to contact us and give us any information that might be pertinent to what is going on in their neighborhood so we can help them," said Snyder.

Snyder said some folks now feel more comfortable coming outside or going for a walk because an officer is often right around the corner.

They plan to expand the program into other parts of the city depending on where they're getting the most calls.

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