For the last few
years, a patrol through the historic neighborhood had fallen by the wayside;
however, they have been welcomed back with open arms.
positive way of connecting with the community. Our job isn't to hassle
anybody, it's simply to keep it safe for everybody," said Michael Hogue, one of
the OTR Citizens on Patrol members.
this task, volunteers take note of everything going on. All suspicious activity
like graffiti, drug activity, overgrown grass and abandoned cars are written up
and reported to police.
of like a mall cop. The job is not to intervene. It's to observe
and report," added Hogue.
In addition to
crime watching, volunteers attempt to beautify the neighborhood by picking up
trash along their routes.
done by the group has neighbors thankful that the group is back on their block.
that we have those type of people here that are in place, in the proper place,
to do things to help the neighborhood," said Clarence Jones, who lives in
wondering when they were going to bring them back because they had been missing
for a while. It's good having them back," said James Brooks, a worker in
are about much more than simply patrolling the blocks when they're out and
doing it. We enjoy the interaction with our neighbors. You get to
know people a little bit better," said Hogue.
The group is out
about twice a week, for a few hours at a time. In total, they have a
little more than a dozen members, who do all of their patrol work unarmed.
see them, you know you've got some help around the neighborhood with drug
dealers and stuff. They don't bother you as much. They try to stay
away from them like they stay away from the police, and that keeps them away
from here," said James Brooks, who works in OTR.
OTR is not the only neighborhood with patrols.
The city's website says there are groups in 24 of the city's 52 neighborhoods.