Cumberland County Turns To Community Policing To Deter Crime
Posted December 20, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
CUMBERLAND COUNTY — People often complain that police only appear when someone needs help or is in trouble, but eleven officers are getting to know their neighbors in Cumberland County.
As part of their community policing efforts, deputies sponsor barbecues and bike rodeos in the subdivisions they patrol.
As a result, the community policing division is being recognized for cleaning up high-crime neighborhoods.
Eleven Cumberland County Sheriff's deputies devote all their time to walking and riding around rural neighborhoods.
Residents say there can never be too many officers protecting their homes and families.
"There has been a few break-ins in the past few months and since they are going to be patrolling more often, I feel safer about coming home and not finding my stuff is gone from the house," said Cumberland County resident LaTonya McAllister.
Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler says once county deputies become a part of the community neighborhood, residents often tip them off to people who have committed crimes or are planning to commit one.
"They build a rapport with adults as well as children," Butler said. "In turn, if something is developing that may lead to a crime, they feel free to talk to their community policing officer in that area."
Community policing officers say their presence alone often cuts down on crime, especially during the holiday season.
"This time of year is bad for people breaking into houses during the day," said Cpl. Max Taylor of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. "We try to stay in the neighborhoods during the day while people are at work and they are away from their homes."