TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It was a packed room in west Toledo as neighbors wanted to know more from the Toledo Police Chief. They got a chance to ask questions inside the Eleanor Kahle Senior Center during a neighborhood watch meeting, Wednesday night.
A major topic of the night was the city's gun violence especially on the heels of the sixth homicide of the new year. West Toledo neighbors got answers straight from Toledo's Police Chief George Kral.
Whether about recent shooting, juvenile problems, or the opioid crisis he gave them insight to TPD's methods.
Chief Kral showed neighbors while they may feel there's been more shootings and crime in their neighborhood, that's actually not true.
"I was kind of surprised that shootings were going down because they seem to be going up," said Dona Brown who lives in west Toledo. "I guess they are just moving from other areas into our area and it makes it seem more."
Despite Tuesday nights homicide being the sixth already in 2018, Chief Kral said he isn't concerned about a spike this year.
"We've had several shootings this year and we've had the homicides," said Toledo Police Chief George Kral. "A couple of them were incredibly random and there's no way that anybody ever could have stopped them, but I'm confident that the efforts from the police department-what we have planned, what we're working on is going to stop this."
Chief Kral listed some of the areas in west Toledo they see the most calls from like the Jackman and Sylvania area, and explained the top calls for service are traffic stops and burglary alarms.
Neighbors said they expected shootings and juvenile crimes to rank higher, but they were lower on the list of top ten calls.
When asked how neighbors could help Chief Kral explained they need more eyes and ears in the neighborhoods. He gave the example of the day there was a shooting in west Toledo which eventually led to an officer involved shooting later that night.
"This started out in this neighborhood and ended with an officer involved shooting in the intercity so that's why I reiterate when we see something we got to say something," explained Chief George Kral.
Neighbors said this meeting will make them more proactive about calling police when they encounter situations in their neighborhood thanks to the chief's advice.
"When I see children out and about I will call," said Tiffany DeMoe, a west Toledo neighbor. "I never wanted to be that person that's constantly calling because I don't have children out on the street, so I didn't want to be that nosy person, but we have to call."
"I think we're going to see more relationship with the police in the neighborhood," said Tina Scott, organizer of Wednesday's meeting. "I think now maybe people will call 255-1111 or 911 more."
Neighbors said they are hopeful the neighborhood can turn around and bounce back from the crime they have seen so far.
Also at the meeting several asked about the detective shot in their neighborhood back in November.
Detective Jason Picking was shot in the face as SWAT was executing a search warrant at a home.
Chief Kral said Picking will be back at work next month working light duty.
The Chief says he was "touched" that residents asked about the detective's condition.