Bradford takes action

 
bradford
 
An informal meeting of Bradford residents interested in forming a Neighborhood Watch organization met at Elsie Hodges Park in Bradford last Wednesday evening.  Jim Robinson, the acknowledged organizer, greeted about 75 attendees. 

“We have several options open to us,” said Robinson.  “How we organize, what we can do and not do.” 

Also attending the meeting was Doug Hampton of Illinois Coalition for Community Services, Stark County Sheriff Jimmie Dison and police officer Bill Bauer.

“I think your efforts have slowed down the incidents,” said Bauer.  “But it’s been a busy four weeks.”

Bauer has been filling in as Bradford’s main police officer for the past four weeks as Bradford Chief of Police Loren Nelson has been absent on medical leave.  Nelson was recently given a temporary dismissal by the Bradford Village Board.  The board is still looking for officers to help with patrol until the medical issue with Nelson is resolved.

Bauer also brought Kelly Semande, a security specialist, to help with any needs residents may have.  Semande offers camera systems for purchase and can suggest low-cost options to secure property.  The Village of Bradford will be installing cameras on public property on a trial basis.

“If the village wants to continue the camera system they can purchase it at a later date,” said Bauer.  “We just want to see if this helps.”

The committee is also looking for volunteers to supervise community service workers.

“It is a great option to keep costs down,” said Bauer.  “The county doesn’t have to pay for juvenile housing and hopefully we can keep kids from getting into trouble in the future.”

Bauer has a community service program in Wyoming, where he is the chief of police.  “It has saved the city several hundred thousand in wages,” said Bauer.

The meeting also mentioned the importance of following through with observations and prosecution. 

“If you let it go, then kids will just keep doing it,” said Bauer.  “The best use of a police department is crime deterrent.”

The group hopes to meet regularly, as need and interest demand.

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