Even though the coronavirus pandemic forced the Newton Police Department to cancel the final Cops and Neighborhoods United meeting before Zone 6 residents had the chance to see their statistics for last year, the overall outlook was much of the same as the other zones.
The zone, which includes many of the businesses on First Avenue, tracked similarly to the rest of the city. There was an increase in a variety of service calls including burglary, theft, assault and criminal mischief but it was very slight.
“We stayed fairly steady but there was a slight increase in some of them, then we went down in others,” NPD Lt. Wayne Winchell said.
One aspect that differentiated Zone 6 is it includes businesses along the south side of First Avenue. The added traffic from businesses or the apartments can add to the numbers, Winchell said..
“It’s a large area and within that you have large businesses and several apartment complexes as well. So there is a lot of things in those that can fluctuate a number,” Winchell said.
There were some positive statistics that came out of the zone meetings this year. One in particular was the downward trend of vehicle thefts. Winchell said he hopes that it means residents are becoming more aware of locking their vehicles and homes.
“Make sure you are locking your doors. If you see something let us know right away. Don’t worry about bothering the police, that is what we are out here to do,” Winchell said.
While the Cops and Neighborhoods United zone meetings have wrapped up for the year, the main goal to build relationships and work together to make the neighborhoods a safer place to live moved forward.
“I believe we are headed in the right direction for sure,” Winchell said.
The attendance this year, Winchell said, was good and those who did come out were very involved with the meetings, frequently asking questions. All of the zone meetings were held except for the Zone 6 meeting which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“There were a lot of positive things that came out of our meetings this year,” Winchell said.
New to the meetings this year was answers to frequently asked questions including inquiries about bikes and backpackers along with a variety of other subjects.
“We were able to tackle those questions head on without them being asked and explain it,” Winchell said.
With 2020 meets in the books, the department will start planning for next year. By taking what they have learned from the meetings held throughout the community, the department can work to help the citizens and officers get the most out of their time together.
“We as the officers, or we as the Newton Police Department are going to continue this program and work hard to develop those relationships, to look over those numbers to just keep going in hopes that our citizens will also embrace it and work with us,” Winchell said.
For those who missed the Zone 6 meeting and want to learn more about the program, visit .newtongov.org and navigate to the police page and select Cops and Neighborhoods United.
“There you can read about the program, you can see a map that you can actually zoom in and see what zone that you live in and then underneath there is links to contact your zone officer,” Winchell said.
Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or firstname.lastname@example.org