Whitehall police keeping the neighborhood safe with strategy plan

Whitehall is fighting back against crime with a strategy plan that includes neighbors.  And it's working. (WSYX/WTTE)

Whitehall is fighting back against crime with a strategy plan that includes neighbors. And it's working.

Neighbors, police and city leaders met inside the Westphal Baptist church Thursday night for a town hall meeting focused on safety. It's the second meeting to happen in the neighborhood this year. The first one was in the summer.

During the meeting, the floor was open to residents about what they would like to see police do in the neighborhood. Police also shared a list of things they are doing to decrease crime. Officers also talked about human trafficking and gave neighbors advice on what to do if they were to spot it.

"The intent of safer Whitehall is everyone has a piece in it. So, we always ask 'what have you done today to make Whitehall safer?" said Mike Crispen, Whitehall's police chief.

Several neighbors said they've seen less crime in the the area with police saying crime is actually down 36 percent.

The pre-planned safety meeting just happened to take place a few days after a 15-year-old girl was stabbed more than 20 times by an ex-boyfriend. Police, and the mayor of Whitehall, credit neighbors for stepping in to help the injured girl.

"How many of us are going to see some young child 15 years old being attacked and sit and do nothing about it? These are some great people that no doubt saved her life," said Chief Crispen.

Whitehall police are adding some new members to the force to keep the neighborhood safe.

For the first time ever, the department will have three K-9's: one bomb dog and two narcotics dogs. Officers said there could be a fourth narcotics dog in the future.

Police are also ramping up security in schools. There are currently two new school resource officers for the school district.

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