EMU hosts neighborhood meeting for LaForge corridor

Eastern Michigan University police hosted a community safety meeting designed to create a neighborhood meeting for residents living in the LeForge corridor Thursday in collaboration with representatives from Ypsilanti Police Department and Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

Although students living in the LeForge Road area were strongly urged by police and apartment managers from the area’s six heavily student-populated complexes – Peninsular Place, University Green, Huron View Apartments, Riverrain Apartments and Eastern Lofts – to show up to the meeting, the event did not get much of a turn-out.

“We often have large turn-outs at a Neighborhood Watch meeting just after a major incident has occurred, but it’s just as important to have an engaged and involved neighborhood when things are calm,” sheriff’s department spokesman Derrick Jackson said in a recent MLive article. “It’s in those times that we can work together to prevent future crimes from ever happening.”

Also according to MLive, police officials say the sparse attendance at the meeting could either be due to an overall safer feeling in the LeForge corridor or the bitter snow flurry that hit around the meeting’s 4 p.m. start time.

The audience, which was composed of about 30 people according to MLive, was mostly made up of city, township and property officials. Only about four or five students attended the meeting.

A neighborhood watch specific to the LeForge area would be a response to the rise in crime the area has seen since the second half of 2013.

YPD Lt. Deric Gress shared that 8 percent of Ypsilanti’s crime occurs in the LeForge area.

In addition to the possible neighborhood watch, police announced last month that YPD, EMU police and Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office were collaborating to create a special team of officers that would patrol the LeForge area.

“Police can’t do it alone… It needs to be community based,” EMU police Lt. Douglas Wing said in an MLive article. “Part of the thing we’re missing here is community involvement.”

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