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Thursday, October 20, 2005

South West Area Partnership: Burglaries Big Concern

The South West Area Partnership met Wednesday evening at Study School on Brooklyn Avenue. While the new Buckner Farm Park was to have been the featured topic, burglaries were of primary concern.

A rash of questions were directed at Allen County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mike McAlexander and Fort Wayne Deputy Police Chief Doug Lucker regarding the large jump in burglaries in the neighborhoods near Foster Park on Fort Wayne's south side.

Lucker said that the Fort Wayne Police Department has drastically increased the number of uniformed officers and detectives patrolling the areas affected during the times the burglars have been most active. He detailed a number of steps that have been taken to identify potential suspects. He stated that one of the further steps will be contingent on a request he has made to Chief Rusty York to suspend some of the union rules regarding police officers.

Lucker also said that the FWPD believes that the burglaries are not the work of one group of burglars.

When one attendee asked whether the Police Department could share some of the specific information known so as to aid citizens in identifying vehicles or suspects who may be in their neighborhoods, the Deputy Chief and several neighborhood officials said that information is shared with those involved with Citizen's Crime Watch groups. The Chief urged concerned citizens to consider joining.

However, he related that committment of neighborhood residents following increased crime can be fleeting. Lucker said that following a shooting at Harrison and S. Seminole Circle a few years ago, 41 people signed up to participate in Citizen's Crime Watch at a well-attended neighborhood meeting held immediately after the crime. Several weeks later, when the next training session was held for Citizen's Crime Watch volunteers, none of the 41 showed up.

Jeff Baxter of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department made the presentation regarding the proposed development plan for Buckner Farm Park. The new Park is located on the north of Bass Road adjacent to the west side of I-69. Plans for the park include a paved trail, a sledding hill, a nature center, and restoration of a tall-grass prairie.

The South West Area Partnership is one of four area partnerships in Fort Wayne consisting of neighborhood association presidents.

Jeff Baxter is shown in the photo above. We may not have video cameras yet but we do have digital photography. Photo credit: Mitch Harper

© 2005 by Mitch Harper

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