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ICPD Ups Patrol Post-Robberies

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- After a recent rash of armed taxi cab robberies on the west side of town, the Iowa City Police Department has increased patrols in the area to keep neighborhoods safer.

The police department recently received a federal grant to generate two new community-oriented police positions; the idea is to put more officers out into the community to build trust between people and police.

Though there are only two positions because of the grant, the idea of community policing has become more pervasive throughout the entire department, as well, said Neighborhood Response Officer Derek Frank. His position was created because of the federal money.

In a neighborhood like Pheasant Ridge, where some of those armed robberies recently occurred, Frank said that kind of policing is especially important.

Pheasant Ridge parents, like Ashley Charles, are happy when they see officers reaching out, giving stickers to their kids and talking to families.

"I've been in Chicago for the last two weeks, and I've heard so much stuff that's been going on over here that don't make no type of sense, you know? And the kids can't even come outside to play like they want to, so I'm glad they're doing this. It's going to keep all the bad people inside, and that's just what needs to be happening," she said.

Frank is glad people are noticing the increased patrols. He said it means officers are sending the right message.

"That we care, and that we are doing what we can to hopefully prevent these situations in the future, and if we can't prevent them, hopefully we have a few more resources there to react a little quicker," Frank said.

Officers are there to check in on potentially dangerous situations, and keep things under control. Those interactions only help to cut down on crime, Frank said.

"That we're out there, and that we care and that we're working on these problems to make them safer," he said.

There is no set date for when the increased patrols will stop, Frank said.
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