Community helps with crime dip in the Hilltop

Crime cameras and police patrols are part of the dedication residents applaud as well as communicating with one another. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A section of the Hilltop has recently experienced a slight drop in crime.

The Hilltop is a part of Columbus where the news is more bad than good. Dave McManus remembers better times.

"When I was 13 years old, you could leave your house for a whole week and never even have to lock the front door. Now you don't even want to sit on your front porch."

Prostitution, drugs, shootings, and vacant properties are some of the problems found in this part of city. Residents with the South Central Hilltop Block Watch are working to fix those issues.

In this neighborhood, block watch signs are not up for show. McManus shows his Hilltop pride with a hat that has the neighborhood printed on the front. He keeps a close eye on his neighborhood from his porch.

"We watch to see what goes on and write down license numbers."

Columbus Police said the working relationship residents have with the department is credited with a positive trend. In the last two weeks of April, south central Hilltop experienced a slight drop in certain crimes like home burglaries and items stolen from vehicles. There was even a small drop in vehicles being stolen.

"We've been anticipating that this is going to happen here because we have police officers that are extremely dedicated,” said resident Marilyn Wilson.

Crime cameras and police patrols are part of the dedication residents applaud. Block watch captain Lisa Boggs said there's another key residents are using to fight back against crime.

"We are communicating. We are communicating on our Facebook page, by telephone, by email, by just being out."

As the weather warms up, people who live here hope the trend of fewer crimes is not short lived.

One inspiration to keep fighting back is the neighborhoods most vulnerable residents.

"The kids are watching. The kids are watching what's going on in the neighborhoods and if we don't come together and protect these children, what's going to happen to them?"

Another way residents are fighting crime is by cleaning up their neighborhood. The 16th annual South Central Hilltop cleanup is Saturday May 6, from 10 am to 12 pm.

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