Greenville Police and the Butler County Sheriff's Office say they have expanded parts of their departments. There are now school resource officers in all Greenville public schools and sheriff's deputies are patrolling the streets 24 hours a day. Authorities say the expansions are cutting back on crime.
Butler County sheriff's deputies are now on duty 24/7. Sheriff Kenny Harden says in October, two new deputies were added, and he says the extra patrols are cutting back burglaries by nearly 50 percent, "In 2012, we had 134 reported, and in 2013 we had 69. So that's a pretty good drop there. And I contribute that to having more deputies on the road, the deputies riding the communities."
He says the deputies frequently check businesses and churches to make their presence known in the county.
In Greenville...police officers are upping their presence in schools. Resource officers are now also in W.O. Palmer Elementary and Greenville Middle School, "Small things can mount to bigger things. So if you're here walking the hallways, communicating with your kids, what you head off at the inception can prevent future possible crimes down the road," says Greenville High School's Resource Officer, Malcolm Owens.
Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram says it also creates a line of communication between the schools and the community, "The school resource officer will take care of that, handle it, he'll inform the troops on the street about it, officers on the street know about it and that helps keep trouble out in the community. The flip side of that is, if there's trouble that occurs in the community then we let the school resource officer know about it and that helps keep trouble out in the schools."
Officials say the expansions also allow for quicker response times to emergency calls.