CARTHAGE, MO.--- From June to December of 2012, Carthage Police Officer Arik Smith has focused his efforts on reducing crimes against people and property in the Carthage area.
"Originally they had a lot of worry about crime as far as pass through crime and their property damage from graffiti," states Arik Smith, Carthage Police.
While patrolling, Smith talked with people living in the area like Jana Bates. She says while crime hasn't been horrible, there have been a few neighborhood incidents.
"Public intoxication, traffic, people flying through here, going 30-40 miles an hour when it's supposed to be 25," says Jana Bates, Carthage Resident.
With the effort of community team policing, that has changed.
"Traffic actually stops at the stop signs now. We don't have to worry about the kids getting hit," says Bates.
Surveys conducted by police show more people like Bates are less worried about the possibility of crime.
"It's about a 48.5% decrease in the fear of crime. So we did reduce some actual crime, but we tremendously reduced the fear of crime in the area," states Smith.
Another indicator of their success was a decrease in the number of serious calls officers received from the area. The policing effort helped with more than safety, it got graffiti cleaned up and improved their quality of life.
"We get them clothing. If they need food, we get them in contact with people who can get them food," states Smith.
Bates is glad officers will move on to patrol another section because of how the effort has helped her.
"I'm a fan of it," says Bates
"In that section of town, they are happier now than they were when we first started," says Smith.
Another officer is taking over the patrol of Central to Chestnut as well as Francis to Baker. He'll also be focusing on Olive and Oak up to Oak Hill. He will be primarily responsible for that area until the end of June.