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The Blockwatch Beat
The city of Columbus received a federal grant through the Department of Justice to fill 50 jobs in the division of police for community oriented policing.
As part of this, the Community Response Team (CRT) was created.
There are three CRT teams around the city. This also includes speed enforcement officers in school zones and near parks, hiring an additional community liaison officer for the new precinct that was created as well as additional truancy officers.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sergeant Lowell Rector of the Westside CRT. He told me the CRT focuses on areas in the community that request their assistance, giving attention to “hot spots.”
They concentrate on particular types of crimes in a neighborhood and pinpoint efforts to solve that problem.
“I consider us problem solvers for the community. I’d much prefer to call ourselves the problem solving unit,” Rector said.
The CRT is also a liaison to other services in the city through the area commissions, city services and the Community Crime Patrols. They get their leads from individuals at blockwatch meetings, area commission meetings, and direct phone calls from the Strategic Response Bureau and narcotics.
They take input from as many sources as possible and combine the data from all of the different sources to form actionable intelligence. Intelligence based policing is combined with community based policing and when it all comes together a lot more problems can be solved, making a big difference in the Hilltop and Southwest Columbus.
A blockwatch should contact the CRT about anything that looks out of the ordinary, like patterns that look suspicious such as suspected drug activity or vehicles during the daytime that look out of place.
Blockwatches should contact the CRT through their Community Liaison Officer at:
8th precinct: 645-1408
10th precinct: 645-1410
19th precinct: 645-1419
15th Precinct: 645- 1415
Find out what precinct you live at www.columbuspolice.org/CommunityLiaisonMaps/CityMapnew.htm
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