Maumee officials believe they have come up with a way to deter crime and improve relationships with businesses at the same time.
Police Chief James MacDonald implemented a program last year sending five officers working the midnight shift to at least five businesses per night, depending on activity level. They look for potential issues after hours.
“We thought it was a good idea to let the business community know we are out there, and that the leaders of this city care they’re here,” Chief MacDonald said. “We want to make sure they thrive in our community.”
Chief MacDonald said Maumee experiences little crime, but measures are important to keep it that way. Officers who make a visit check all doors and windows, look for broken lights, and make sure the perimeter is secure.
“We leave an information card on the door telling them we were there and what time,” Chief MacDonald said. “We might leave suggestions about ways they can improve the security of their property.”
Chief MacDonald, Fire Chief Brandon Loboschefski, and City Administrator John Jezak began sitting down with a couple business owners a week a few years ago, and the nightly checks have become an extension.
They go over the city’s services and social media, and see if there are any ways in which they can help. Chief Loboschefski often discusses the department’s CPR training for employees.
“This is just another step to show the businesses we’re looking out for them,” said Mayor Richard Carr. “I’ve received many emails and phone calls just saying thanks. I think it’s been very positive.”
Service calls in Maumee were up 17 percent last year, but Chief MacDonald said that’s in large part because of proactive efforts, such as the business checks, and checking in on senior citizens and vacation houses.
“We’re not seeing an increase in crime,” Chief MacDonald said. “With some of these measures, my hope is we actually will see a decrease. We’re just trying to make good use of our time with positive outreach.”