Authorities said Clover Street Park was closed due to criminal activity linked to the Sunset Acres subdivision. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, September 28, 2012 5:22 PM
Authorities’ recent zero-tolerance initiative in Sunset Acres subdivision was “very successful,” said Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon.
Sunset Acres, which stretches from Cactus Street to Sunset Street and from Legendre Street to Louisiana Avenue, has seen 28 burglaries this year, up from 20 in 2011.
Lake Charles police decided to add extra patrols to the area for two weeks, Sept. 10-24, with a zero-tolerance policy — meaning everyone who broke a law, however minor, was given a citation, Dixon said.
The added patrols resulted in eight arrests the first week and one arrest in the second week, he said. “It got real quiet,” Dixon said. “You could almost go bowling down (the streets).”
He said a lot of complaints centered around juveniles roaming the area at night.
With police presence intensified in the area, calls for service went up to 82 the week of Sept. 10-16 — a significant increase from the average of 30 calls per week the previous five weeks. But the number dropped to 64 from Sept. 17 to 23.
“The results speak for themselves,” Dixon said. “We’re getting a lot of positive response in the neighborhood from people that appreciate our proactive approach.”
Not everyone in the neighborhood was willing to talk the American Press, but one resident said he is hopeful that the added patrols will help lessen crime.
Jake Hood, who has lived in the neighborhood for five years, said his house was burglarized three years ago. And he pointed out various residences around his that have likewise been hit by burglars.
“I hope it helps out. I really do,” Hood said. “I’d like to see my little girls be able to play in the front yard without me having to worry about them.”
The zero-tolerance policy and extra patrols stemmed from a community meeting held Sept. 11, Dixon said. He said Sunset Acres has “probably our most active Neighborhood Watch.”
He said police added the patrols at the request of Sunset Acres residents. “We can’t do our job without the public. We need their eyes and ears,” Dixon said.
Patrols were still heavy in Sunset Acres late Thursday afternoon.
Dixon said his agency will “monitor (the subdivision) and if things pick up, we’ll get proactive.”