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June 16, 2013

Almost $1 million netted from New Albany Midtown project

Administration considers present, future of neighborhood

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY — CRIME STILL AN ISSUE?

Former New Albany Police Chief Todd Bailey implemented a concentrated crime enforcement strategy in the Midtown neighborhood about a year after the NSP program launched.

Labeled police oriented policing, the POP program included the opening of an NAPD substation at S. Ellen Jones Elementary School.

Police patrols were heightened in the neighborhood, and the department claimed crime numbers dropped in the area.

The POP program was then shifted to the Broadmeade neighborhood, but was terminated in 2012 when Gahan took office and named Sherri Knight police chief.

Knight said Friday that the department doesn’t keep statistics for specific neighborhoods, but added crime citywide is at the same level or has been reduced since 2011.

“When we identify problems in a particular area, we provide additional resources so we can address the problem,” she said.

Instead of focusing on a specific neighborhood such as with the POP program, Knight said the department distributes patrols evenly throughout the city.

“We don’t want to take services away from the rest of the city,” she said.

An owner of one of the NSP homes, Debora Henry, recently appeared before the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety to ask for help for what she described as a rise in crime elements along East Oak Street.

She said several vacant homes and blighted properties that remain in the neighborhood foster the crime element.

New Albany Building Commissioner David Brewer said he would meet with her on a regular basis to identify and address codes issues in the neighborhood.

Gahan said he didn’t know any specific statistics for the Midtown neighborhood, but added that crime is  a concern for him across the city.

He echoed Knight’s stance that the strategy is to address crime on a more even basis instead of focusing on one area of New Albany.

“I feel good about the approach that we’re taking,” Gahan said.

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