Police, Community Work to Decrease Crime in Wellington Heights
By Nadia Crow, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Cedar Rapids’ Wellington Heights neighborhood is working to change its reputation. The neighborhood, on the city’s southeast side, has had a long standing history linked with crime. So far this summer, crime rates are down compared to past years. Burglaries dropped 36%, thefts dropped 38% and there have been no homicides this year.
After nine years in Wellington Heights, Sarah Anderson said it’s been a quieter summer. “Cops are non-stop walking through the park, riding around on their bikes there are four, five, six cars that go around a day." Police records show a drop in burglaries, thefts, and homicides. But calls to the police are up. “I think people are calling the police more before stuff starts to get out of hand,” said Anderson.
There is an increased police presence in the neighborhood. Residents have also helped launch several neighborhood programs for kids.
One of those programs is the Wellington Heights Summer Program. The program focuses on reading, the arts, and the kids enjoy a hot meal. The idea behind the program is to get kids involved in positive activities during the early evening hours so they’re less likely to get into trouble. “We hadn’t won, the streets had won,” said Truancy/Behavioral Specialist Karl Werner. “We cannot allow them to be workers of the street. We need to make them workers of their educational process,” said Werner.
“I think it can be a good neighborhood it just needs help. People have got to get together and help each other,” said Anderson.
For more information on the Wellington Heights Summer Program, call 319-558-2174.
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