Would it be a good idea to …
… amplify the police presence around Sherman Hills apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre, site of this month’s fatal shooting, plus other recent violent and nonviolent crimes, by assigning officers to a substation or mini-office at nearby Coal Street Park?
Use the city-owned park, only a stone’s throw from the apartments, as a base from which police can more quickly respond to trouble in or near the privately owned housing complex. This office could serve as a visual reminder to would-be criminals and law-abiding residents that someone is close at hand to serve and protect. If the station was consistently staffed and visited by the same few officers, they might develop closer ties to neighborhood residents — the kind of relationships that can increase communication, build trust and solve some issues before they flare.
We didn’t confer with crime-fighting experts on this public safety idea. We want to know what you think.
Certain apartment residents and business owners are so fearful of the criminal activity in their neighborhood, they declined to talk to The Times Leader’s reporters about the climate. A police office — either in a trailer or perhaps a closet-sized space of the newly renamed Toyota SportsPlex at the park — might begin to put those worried minds at ease. And at minimal cost.
Is community policing from Coal Street Park a viable suggestion? Is it redundant with how police already patrol and protect the city? Is the suggestion so ludicrous you can hardly believe it?
Give us your feedback by sending a letter the editor or posting comments to this editorial at timesleader.com or facebook.com/timesleader. Likewise, share your own ideas for improving the community and making area residents’ lives better. Maybe we’ll spotlight your suggestion in a future editorial and ask readers, “Would it be a good idea to …”