Chief Diggs discusses crime decrease

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Toledo police department has noticed a decrease in criminal activity over the past 6 months, but can credit be given to the new way the department is policing?

With plenty of initiatives, groups, task forces and the soon to be arrival of cameras, Police Chief Derrick Diggs says it is too early to compare 2012 to 2011, but he is optimistic his message has been received by Toledo criminals.

Derrick Diggs took over as Toledo police chief in late October of last year, and 11 homicides were committed in his first 40 days with the new title. However, Chief Diggs will be quick to tell you those 11 murders were all solved.

Now, in his first 6 months as chief, Diggs has implemented numerous initiatives to clean up the streets.

The most successful is a new data-driven way of policing. The department uses technology and stats of current crimes to prevent future ones.

"Our projections are that most of those initiatives are working very well. Like I say, I've only been chief now for 6 months, but we've got some positive projections that they're working in our favor. Hopefully within the next couple of months we can start using that comparative data to see how we compare from during this year from last year. But right now, I can say the projections are looking good," said Diggs.

Toledo's 75 new surveillance cameras could be installed by late May or early June, and the month old T-CIRV initiative to get a projected 2,500 gang members off the streets will also be busy in the coming summer months.

"We know the message is out there, we have to continue to work to get that message out there, we have to work to continue our strong, firm and focused enforcement approach that we're utilizing and it's just an evolving process that we're going to continue to work at," Diggs explained.

It is still too early for statistical data, but the department has noticed a decrease in criminal activity over the past few months. For that to continue, Diggs says community involvement is key:

"Part of that T-CIRV program is our community component; where community leaders are developing the strategies to get the word out there that the violence must stop. The citizens have got to start working with us and be a part of this to help protect the citizens in this town."

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