Neighborhood initiative aims to diminish crime on Madison’s east side

Neighborhood initiative aims to diminish crime on Madison’s east side

Lately, the Madison Police Department’s says its officers have responded to a lot of criminal activity, especially on the east side.

In an effort to combat the issues, residents in the Burke Heights neighborhood are working on a new initiative called “The Good Neighbor Program.”

“In light of what we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks, the shots fired and armed robbery calls are clearly up,” Chief Mike Koval said.

Koval and East District Capt. Thomas Snyder addressed those concerns to a group of community activists, working to make their community a safer place.

“Since January, I think I’ve been probably to 12 neighborhood association meetings. Groups of people, like yourselves, who have gotten together to kind of talk about some issues. Unfortunately, a lot of those meetings seem to happen after something bad happens,” Snyder said to residents a meeting Sunday afternoon.

Resident Aaron Ganser had the idea to start “The Good Neighbor Program” after seeing several issues right outside his front door.

“In 18 years, I have literally seen everything. I’ve seen stabbings, shootings, prostitution, and car and home break-ins,” Ganser said.

The projects goal is to address problems residents in the Burke Heights neighborhood see and deal with.

“It’s kind of a long time coming,” Ganser said.

They also hope to find solutions with the help of local law enforcement, like MPD Crime Prevention Officer Emily Samson.

“I think the more familiar we are with one another, and not only familiar with, but the more we get to know one another, the better we can serve each other,” Samson said.

Police encourage all residents to get to know their neighbors, help keep each other safe and call 911 with any concerns.