Community Policing Adds Patrols Downtown

More police officers have been placed on patrol in the downtown area.

The increase in police presence began last Friday and is intended to stem the spike in violent crime in the downtown area during the warm weather.

For the second year in a row, Lynn has received federal funding to pay for the added patrols.

According to Mayor Judith Flanagan-Kennedy, this initiative was targeting city neighborhoods, including the downtown, parks and public spaces.

The initiative placing more police on the ground is supposed to cut down crime in the first instance and to attract more people into public places with the assurance of their safety.

Police Chief Kevin Coppinger was pleased with the federal grant, which amounts to $30,000.

He said that the crime spike in the city during the heat of the summer months was the surest indication that police needed a stronger presence.

Coppinger noted that during the past week alone there were incidents that included two carjackings and two shootings. There have also been numerous assault and batteries throughout the city as the heat has caused emotions to boil over.

Coppinger said the spike in crime during the past two months was largely gang related.

He predicted that walking patrols working in pairs during four-hour shifts throughout the day and into the night during the busy part of the week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – would have a definite effect on crime in the city.

The difference between last summer and this summer is notable, the chief said.

In 2010, overall crime in the city dropped almost 10 percent.

But that crime drop was due largely to repeated gang sweeps and added police vigilance.

Community policing above all is considered the best defense and offense when it comes to crime.

“The added police mixing with residents is a plus. The added police taking criminals off the street or stopping violence before it happens also helps,” said James Marsh, Director of Community Development.

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