Mayor Richard Alcombright and Police Director Michael Cozzaglio communicated an important message to the public Monday during a press conference on the ongoing work in the city to combat crime: We’re not done and your help is welcomed.
Since this summer’s uptick in violent crime, a six-week campaign has been under way that has seen the city’s police force working with a variety of regional and state law enforcement agencies, all with the goal of knocking down the criminal element in the city.
The effort has been both visible and fruitful: 135 arrests on a variety of charges have been made in this time, for a 25 percent increase over the average, according to Mr. Cozzaglio.
However, there is still work to be done -- as evidenced by the brazen armed robbery of the Corner Market on Saturday -- and Mr. Cozzaglio says the stepped up police presence and activity in the city is going to continue.
Mr. Alcombright also made it clear that while the police are working to combat these criminal elements, the public’s assistance in the mission is important. While some might be fearful of contributing to the police work, the mayor stressed that people can always make anonymous tips to city police. If people see things in their neighborhoods that stand out as suspicious, they are encouraged to let police know. As Mr. Cozzaglio said Monday, residents are encouraged to be another set of eyes and ears for the authorities, but should not get involved if they see suspicious activity.
While crime levels are a serious concern, it should also be noted that swings in the crime rate are not unusual. Mr. Cozzaglio has pointed out in the past that these matters tend to be cyclic, and that when they rise, thorough police work typically brings them back down. While the nature of Saturday’s robbery was unusual, we’re confident the increase in police action in recent weeks, along with the public’s help, will be successful in cutting out the roots of this problem.