facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

More calls on West, South sides



Published: Wed, June 12, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.

By JOE GORMAN

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A shift in service calls has prompted the police department to study the boundaries of the current beats in the patrol division.

Police Chief Rod Foley said he first noticed a trend last year in which the area of the South Side patrolled by Car 204 and an area of the West Side

patrolled by Car 209 had seen increases in calls, so he looked at calls for those beats over a 10-year period.

“We changed dramatically” in those areas, Foley said.

Foley said one of the reasons for the shift is the increase of rental properties on both beats. Those properties tend to bring in people who are transient in nature and they decrease stability in the neighborhood because of lack of homeownership, Foley said.

The chief said he hopes the study can be completed within the next few weeks.

Because of the increase in calls on the West Side, Foley added Car 208 last year, giving the West Side three cars per turn when the staffing is available.

Foley said the extra car on the West Side has made the crime problem a bit more manageable because it allows officers to do more patrol work instead of just going from call to call.

When the last study was completed in 1998, it showed the two busiest beats as Cars 205 and 206 on the South Side, which answered an average of 15,000 calls a year each, Foley said. He said Cars 204 and 209 are approaching that number of calls per year now.

Information for calls per beat for all of 2012 is not yet available, but statistics provided by the department show they answered 93,344 calls for service in 2012 and took 14,853 reports. Both are increases.

In 2011, the department answered 86,883 calls and took 14,768 reports.

A one-week sample taken the first week of 2012, however, shows Cars 204 and 209 had the most calls that week, with 121 each. The next-busiest car was 109, which answered 103 calls. That car is stationed downtown.

Foley stressed that the sample is preliminary.

Marta Poluse, a crime analyst for the department, said the study is sampling every eight days from December 2011 to February of this year. She said that way, every day of the week will be represented in the study.

Nancy Martin of the Brownlee Woods Neighborhood Association said she can’t explain the increase in calls, at least in her part of Brownlee Woods, because she said she hasn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary within the last year.

“I don’t know why they would say we’re one of the busiest beats,” she said.

Martin said the most-common crime problems are burglaries of occupied and unoccupied homes, in the latter case for copper pipes that can be sold for scrap.

Don Rowinsky of the Millview Block Watch, which includes Poland Avenue and the portions of the South Side that border Interstate 680, said he has not noticed much of an increase in crime within the last 18 months, but there were two recent burglaries of homes that were vacant but being renovated.

Rowinsky said that in his area of Car 204’s beat most of the residents own their own homes, which he said helps to keep crime down.

“That’s why we don’t have that much crime because most of the people own their homes and they know their neighbors,” Rowinsky said.

Foley said the Brownlee Woods and Buckeye areas of 204’s beat still have stable homeownership, and the crime problem in those areas is not as bad as in others. But he added the increase of calls on that beat largely has been east of South Avenue, which has been trending toward more burglaries and drug activity.

Becky Hutton of the Westside Citizens’ Coalition said she has noticed an increase in criminal activity. She said when she first moved to the West Side in 2000, it was quiet and she never heard gunfire. Now, she said, it is an all-too-frequent occurrence.

She said that within the last year her part of the West Side also has seen some violent crimes that her part of town has not been accustomed to, such as a double shooting at an apartment building on Oakwood Avenue after Thanksgiving and a double homicide in an apartment above a Mahoning Avenue business in October where a baby was found unharmed in bed with both victims. That crime has not yet been solved.

Hutton said there are a lot of rental properties on the West Side because older people are moving away or dying and their children do not want to live in their homes, so they rent them out.

Foley said that when the last study of beats was completed, the department shrank some, expanded others and added some.

He said what he wants to try to figure out is how to get the patrol officers to have enough time patrolling instead of just answering calls. He said he thinks officers should spend 60 percent to 65 percent of their shifts answering calls and the rest patrolling and looking for illegal activity.

“If we’re going to ask our officers to be proactive, we have to give them the time to do it,” Foley said.


Comments

1Ianacek(901 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

This type of analysis should be ongoing & timely , not a 15 yearly exercise . Modern business management is data driven . Still , 2012 figures should be analysed by now .
I recall in 2009 Jay Williams gave Chief Hughes a C+ for his management of the department . I can see why . Chief Hughes replied "I think C+ is a pretty good grade" . Thankfully , Chief Foley's aspirations are higher .

I will take issue with his contention that rental properties attract crime . It's poverty that attracts crime . If landlords weren't investing in & upgrading these houses to attract tenants in a very competitive market , the houses would have become blight . Its only recently that many owner occupiers have started taking more pride in their homes' appearance.
The City needs to be more welcoming to business & development in the neighborhoods , because that will bring more jobs , more working residents & less crime .

Suggest removal:

2author50(1121 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

It was my opinion, from reading stories in this paper and listening to the local TV news that with the closing of The Coconut Grove Mr. Foley, Mr. Sammarone, Mr. Sweriz, Ms. Gerscon and Mr. Ferris said crime would go away on the South Side. What happened, is the crime on the South Side larger than just blaming it one ONE establishment?

Suggest removal:

3123goz(559 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Just travel the Mahoning area below Belle Vista, then go up and down some of the side streets above Belle Vista. Empty houses that should be torn down, empty lots with 5' tall grass. What a shame.

Suggest removal:

4becky47(34 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I am the Becky from the article and I just wanted to be clear that I did say we have an increase in rental properties on the West Side. BUT I made it clear that I feel that there are MANY GREAT RENTERS and MANY BAD HOME OWNERS. To lump all renters into the category of the reason there is increased crime does a disservice to renters. I agree with lanacek that poverty is a cause for crime NOT WHETHER YOU RENT OR OWN

Suggest removal:

5123goz(559 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Becky, we agree not all renters are bad. However, poverty should not be an excuse for crime. Appalachia is poor, they don't gun each other down and steel the copper from a house. But, the poor are a good portion of the renters, so there is the link.
If they were owner's, they should care about the property, but that is not always the case either.
If there is a rise in crime, it's because of a rise in criminal population on the west side. Drug users are a major contributor to thefts and assaults.

Suggest removal:

6123goz(559 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

On an other note, wouldn't you expect the REPORTS to be more than 15-20pct of the calls? No expert here, but maybe that's why when we were touched by crime, more than one theft over a couple years, nothing ever came of it. The cop, when he finally got there, wrote it up on a note pad and away he went. No forms to fill out or sign. No follow up by a detective. Nothing.
I know they are busy, Y-town needs double the force they have.

Suggest removal:

7123goz(559 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

.....characterized by one or more of the following: at least 150 percent of the U.S. unemployment rate, or less than 67 percent of the U.S. per capita market income.
Regional crime rates in Appalachia are lower than those for the nation as a whole. While the social and economic distress experienced by much of Appalachia would seem to make the region particularly vulnerable to increasing rates of crime and violence, crime rates in Appalachia are only about 50 percent (for violent crime) to 65 percent (for property crime) of the national levels.....

Suggest removal:

8Pyroc(111 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

What I have seen happen when I lived on the Southside, was the older home owners pass away and their children already have their own homes in the suburbs. They do not want to move into their parents house when they already own a newer home in a better neighborhood. They don't want the bother that goes along with being a Landlord, so they find a realtor to sell the property. The Realtors know they will have a tough time selling the property because it's located in the city, so they market the properties to "Investors" who live out-of-town, then set up a deal with the investor to act as a rental agent for the investor. The realtor then looks to rent the property out as soon as possible because the quicker they rent the property, the quicker they will get paid their commission. The realtor could care less who they rent the property to, as long as they can show the "Investor" that the property is rented. The renters know that once they are moved in to the property, they can stop paying the rent after the first couple months, and they can live there "rent free" for several months while the eviction works it way through the system. In the meantime they are destroying the property, running up the utility bills, and causing big headaches for the out-of-town investor who can only hope to get out of the investment as soon as possible. While this is going on, the copper and siding has been stripped from the property. At this point, the investor will not put any more money into the rental property and will write it off as a loss at best.

Suggest removal:

9becky47(34 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

I guess I should have been clearer..I think poverty is only a portion of the issue..obviously not all people who are struggling to make ends meet go the criminal route. I am just tired of hearing that it is "the renters" I rented and I not only took care of the things I was supposed to but things my landlord never did. Some people choose to rent so they don't need to worry about the upkeep on a house and some owners don't care if the house is falling down around them. It depends on the individual.

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport