Concerned over the recent increase in crime throughout Milton-Freewater, a group of citizens attended Monday night’s city council meeting to voice concerns. Many in attendance were a group of community members who have formed a Facebook group, Take Back Our Little Town of Milton-Freewater.
City Manager Linda Hall said Police Chief Doug Boedigheimer suggested the group and other concerned citizens form a neighborhood watch program. Hall said there are certain criteria the city would like to see met when it comes to community policing partnerships.
“That we have citizens involved in community policing partnerships with our police department in a safe and effective manner,” Hall said. “One of the best things citizens can do is report suspicious activity or crimes in real-time by calling the police department.”
Hall emphasized that the city doesn’t want people to get hurt or be in danger due to any citizen patrols.
“We don’t want to see any kind of vigilantism,” she added.
Hall said the city wants to work with community members and is willing to listen to the concerns of citizens.
“This group of citizens took the time and effort to come to our council meeting in the middle of a very bad snowstorm and they were polite and respectful,” she stated. They were patient and kind and they asked valid and important questions. What makes it successful often takes citizens and government officials working hand in hand. And after all, those citizens are our true bosses.”
As for the group’s request to have regular meetings with the police department, Hall said the council requested the group get themselves organized first, then contact Boedigheimer to schedule meetings.