New Albany's new approach to fighting crime - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New Albany's new approach to fighting crime

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By: Katie Delaune - kdelaune@fox41.com

NEW ALBANY, IN (WDRB Fox 41) -- "This is a nice neighborhood. It does need to be cleaned up. But it's a nice neighborhood," says Brenda Gresham. She and her husband Bob have lived in the S. Ellen Jones neighborhood most of their lives. They've owned B&B bar for three years and say crime in this older, inner-city New Albany neighborhood comes and goes.

"Last summer it was rough around here, outside you could see a lot of activity," says Brenda.

New Albany Police say they don't want to stand by and react to crime, but stop it before it starts. Starting New Year's Day, New Albany Police will launch POP -- Problem Oriented Policing. Chief Todd Bailey says the goal is to increase patrols in certain areas.

"It's going to be imperative that officers deal with the problem directly," says Chief Bailey.

He says officers will focus on preventing thefts, burglaries, vandalism, and juvenile problems. With a department of 66 full-time officers, Bailey wanted to avoid overtime. So administrators, evidence techs, and even Bailey himself will rotate as beat cops.

"I have people who truly and genuinely want to make a difference in our community," says Bailey "They've been asking for this. This is something our staff wants."

Bailey also wants to re-introduce the neighborhood watch program. He says years ago they had a strong presence in New Albany, but now it's pretty much disappeared.

"We felt it was very important for us as a police department to make an effort to reduce the crime numbers in those areas and problems in those areas," says Bailey.

Bailey reassures there will still be enough officers on duty to patrol the rest of New Albany. He says the first area selected for POP will be S. Ellen Jones neighborhood and he vows his officers won't leave until crime goes down.

"I think it's a good idea what they're doing. I support it," says Brenda. "It protects the home, the children, the school itself."

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