Milteer calls for citizen task force to address crime in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2005

A city lawmaker on Wednesday called for establishing for a citizen task for help take a bite out of crime in Suffolk.

Councilman Curtis Milteer Sr. said he believes organized groups will encourage citizens to take a more active role in crime prevention in their respective neighborhoods.

&uot;We have had two homicides in the Whaleyville borough this year,&uot; said Milteer, who represents that area of the city. &uot;The police department is doing a excellent job but their hands are tied until a crime has been committed.

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&uot;We need involvement from citizens,…the community’s mindset has to be changed to prevent crime.&uot;

The Suffolk Police Department is seeing more involvement from residents, said Police Chief William Freeman.

&uot;We have always steadfastly said that we need more citizen participation,&uot; he said. &uot;We are seeing more people stepping up to the plate.&uot;

Although no other council members echoed Milteer’s call for a task force, all agreed that the city’s police officers and citizens must work as a team.

&uot;The police can’t be everywhere,&uot; said Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett. &uot;They (citizens) are supposed to be your eyes and ears.

&uot;People need to take the initiative and make phone calls and let the police know what is going on in their neighborhoods. Stop something before it gets started.&uot;