Kinston police and residents work together to improve safety

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Police officers in one crime-ridden city in the East are working to make the community safer with hands-on help from the people who live there.

Project Safe Measures gives neighbors in Kinston the opportunity to interact with dozens of volunteers and men and women in blue, without the blue lights. KDPS officers teaming up with volunteers go out to meet locals face-to-face, giving them information from community organizations, and listening to their concerns. This is the city’s 6th Project Safe Measures in just 3 years.

Community Coordinator Lidia Guzman says officers are resolving residents’ complaints.

“It might go to the city of Kinston because they want lights addressed or grass addressed. It might come to the police department because they have a concern about you know maybe vandalism or things like that. We go to animal control. A lot of people will talk about animals roaming around,” Guzman said.

The conversation usually starts off with things like fixing potholes and broken street lamps, but almost always turns to crime.

Guzman says they target a different neighborhood each time, selected based on crime rates and complaints.

“Sometimes it might be areas that we think need a little bit more concern and we think people have quite a bit of concerns. So sometimes that’s usually why a neighborhood is chosen,” Guzman said.

Residents can also contact the Kinston Police Department to let officers know their neighborhood is in need.

Wednesday, Kinston police officers and volunteers will visit about 150 residents in the Mitchell Town area from 3 to 5 p.m. The next Project Safe Measures is scheduled for June 1st in the Dixon Street area.

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