Each district in Macon-Bibb suffers from crime each year, some more than others, but for crime downtown, it's decreased within the last year. The Macon Community Association says they've contributed to that decrease, thanks to their working relationship with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.
When you think of the Macon Community Association, you may think of the people that throw fun community events downtown, but they also keep an eye on crime in the area.
In 2016, the Macon Community Association was originally formed as a neighborhood watch.
"Other places in Macon, other neighborhoods in Macon all have neighborhood watches or residential associations so we decided to create one for downtown," Scott Mitchell said.
Vice President of the group, Scott Mitchell, led the monthly meeting Tuesday night.
He says the group's efforts helped bring crime numbers down overall in the downtown area over the course of the year.
According to the Bibb County Sheriff's Office there were 319 crimes downtown in 2015, but that number decreased in 2016 to 275.
"We looked at the crimes that were occurring, most of them were car break-ins," Mitchell explained. "So we started talking about that at every single meeting. We started talking about leaving stuff in your car, like making sure you took everything out, making sure nothing is visible, and really talking about that stuff and all of a sudden those numbers started dropping."
Lieutenant Nicole Ard with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office works with Macon Community Association in helping them prevent crime in the area.
She says it's helpful to know the business owners who see more downtown than most people probably do.
"They want to hear our input just as much as we want to hear their input," Ard said.
Mitchell says they'll call Ard anytime they see something suspicious going on downtown and that's helped in the decrease.
But he says it's all about building a relationship.
"When the officers came out, they started beginning to know who we were," Mitchell said. "When the officers know you, you start that relationship."
A relationship he says he hopes they can continue to grow with the Sheriff's Office.
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