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Toledo police launch initiative to address quality of life issues affecting communities, beginning with the North End

"The shootings at night are terrible. They're horrifying. You don't know what room to go in. Just shots all night long."

TOLEDO, Ohio — An initiative is paving way for the Toledo Police Department to fight crime at the forefront. 

On Thursday night, officers are starting in the Lagrange area neighborhood because of the high level of crime. 

After being involved in the discussion, Lagrange-area resident Jessie Pride-Paskett says it could work. 

"The shootings at night are terrible. They're horrifying. You don't know what room to go in. Just shots all night long," Pride-Paskett said.

Pride-Paskett says the crime near her home in the Lagrange neighborhood brought her to the meeting Thursday night at the Chet Zablocki Center.

After a record number of homicides in the city last year, she and other neighbors in north Toledo are bringing their concerns directly to Toledo police.

And Toledo police are listening.

"Chief Kral really wanted to get ahead of things this year. And last year, it's no secret, was a pretty violent year here in Toledo. So we took a look and we're adjusting some of our approaches," said Capt. Joe Heffernan with TPD's Special Operations Bureau.

They're calling it a comprehensive approach that includes other law enforcement agencies, city services and stakeholders. 

Those stakeholders include people like Annie Walker, who is a member of ONE Village Council, and who plans to meet with the community in the next 30 days on Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Chet Zablocki Center. 

"'cause there's things that going on in the neighborhood and we need to address," Walker said, "and to find solutions to get rid of it and so we can have a better safer neighborhood." 

Heffernan says these neighbors are the most important part of that solution.

"We see charts and graphs and data. We respond to crimes but we don't see everything, and we don't know how the people are feeling," Heffernan said. "So it's very important for us to get out, talk to the people, get their feedback in a personal way."

And from there TPD can develop a strategy to address the issues.

It's with the goal of improving the quality of life for everyone, no matter where you live. 

"I think something was said that will touch everybody. 'cause we all got different concerns. But it's such a wide array of people and resources in there. I'm just hoping that everybody will pick one," said Pride-Paskett. 

Toledo police plan to sit down with commanders and other people in the city involved with the Lagrange area. From there, they'll continue with their strategies to clean up the neighborhood. 

Next week, we should also expect to hear what other areas they'll be meeting with next.

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