Crime Rate Going Down For Cedar Heights Residents

December 28, 2006 -- Posted at 6:09 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The Cedar Heights area of Jonesboro has been one of the "hot spots" for crime in the past several years.  Now it seems the tide may be turning.

A few months ago there were several shootings in that area, since then officers have increased their patrols.

"Since I've been here there have been shootings, burglaries, and drug deals," said Chris Cork, Manager of Sundance Townhouses.

In fact Cork said he has been the victim of crime.

"I was on my way to the bank and a guy comes up to me in the parking lot and wants an application for an apartment.  We came in and that's when he attacked me," said Cork.

Over the past several years multiple crimes have taken place in "Cedar Heights".

"You've got a high concentration of people living in a small area so you're going to have a little bit bigger concentration of crime reporting anyway," said Lt. Lynn Waterworth with the Jonesboro Police Department.

It was just five months ago that a string of shootings took place near Cedar Heights,    because of more frequent patrols in the area and a visible police presence, crime is going down.

One of the most important things is for residents and police officers to have a close relationship, that way they both know what's happening in a community.

"The property owners and property managers in those areas have worked with the police department and have volunteered to reduce rent if an officer will live there in that area," said Waterworth.

"We try to work together.  I think that's what all the managers and owners of apartment complexes around here need to do... like a neighborhood watch type of deal," said Cork.

One problem J.P.D. officers see is people in neighborhoods want change, but don't report crime.  If the police don't know about a problem they can't fix it.