New police initiative keeps residents informed

The South Ogden Avenue Block Watch greeted the nineteenth precinct’s new liaison, Officer Ken Ramos, and introduced a new program to help citizens report crime with the insistence that any information helps.

“Our job is to help the community have a better quality of life,” said Ramos. “No issue is too big or too small.”

Ramos encouraged citizens to contact the police department at any time during the day, whether it concerns animals, abandoned homes or police emergencies. Taking the time to file a police report, according to Ramos, is not a waste of time.

To increase community involvement in fighting crime, the Columbus Division of Police recently spent $19,000 to institute an online Alert Network for two years. The Alert Network allows citizens to submit anonymous tips, receive e-mail alerts, and search for scheduled block watch meetings.

“Any information is helpful,” said Ramos.

He also encouraged residents to be “nosy neighbors.” An awareness of the neighborhood helps citizens to recognize who or what does not fit.

“You guys are giving us credible information because you see them. You know it because you live it,” said Sgt. Laura Suber.

Observing neighborhood activities also helps to spot gangs. Suber advised to watch for kids loitering in groups, common colors, patterns of behavior, and graffiti. Abandoned houses are also havens for gang activity.

While the process for taking over an abandoned house takes up to two years, according to Heather Truesdell, Code Enforcement Supervisor of the City of Columbus Department of Development, it is still necessary to report the location and any unusual happenings on the property.

Ramos also emphasized the importance of sharing information regarding the ongoing issue of shots being fired in the area.

“If you can take the 30 seconds or minute and a half to call, you probably won’t know how important it is, but any information helps,” said Ramos.

In order to access the Alert Network, citizens should visit   and register using their name, zip code, and e-mail address. The Columbus Police Department will not distribute any information submitted.

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