Almost all 17 Maplewood block captains made it to a meeting at city hall earlier this month. One even came with a case of bronchitis.
Maplewood Police Sgt. Michael Martin, who called the meeting, emphasized a block captain’s job is not to physically stop crime from happening, but to stay in contact with neighbors and police, and call 911 when needed.
Many of the block captains said they wanted more crime information as it occurs. Martin answered that he and the other officers are busy fighting crime, and have very little time to communicate with the community.
Martin said the average response time for a call for police service in Maplewood is 2 minutes 31 seconds. He also said the department made 2,170 arrests in 2012 and 2,240 arrests in 2011.
“You (Maplewood citizens) pay its officers well,” he said. “The city is able to hire young, aggressive officers.”
He said Maplewood’s 24-hour stores draw customers from out of town, then some of them get into mischief in the neighborhoods after shopping.
The block captains were asked to organize at least one block meeting in the year. A police officer will come to the meeting, then that officer will be that block's contact with the department.
More block captains are needed in Maplewood, Martin said, but he noted that there were only three captains as recently as two years ago.
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