Beckley Police take new approach to stop crime - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Beckley Police take new approach to stop crime

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The Beckley Police Department is now taking its force to neighborhood streets with a new "proactive" approach instead of a reactive approach.

The newly minted Special Enforcement Unit has officers keeping a watchful eye on neighborhood hot spots by cruising around and even patrolling the streets on foot.

"We want to be active in the community and not show up after the call but before something bad happens," said Lt. Jake Corey, the leader of this unit.

This unit works either day or night and it's biggest goal is to be two steps ahead of the criminal instead of dealing with the problem after the fact.

Corporal David Snuffer is one of the officers assigned to this unit. He hopes that people in the neighborhoods feel more secure now that police are actively keeping their eyes peeled.

"We're in their neighborhoods, out on foot, addressing the issues they bring to us, I would hope that would give them some type of comfort," said Snuffer.
People living in the neighborhoods of Beckley think this approach is a great idea.

"Anybody thinking about crime won't do it but there's always a possibility," said Beckley native, Lewis Motley who sits on his porch watching the street all the time.

But with this type of neighborhood enforcement how does the police department avoid being accused of profiling?

"The reason we're in certain areas now is because that's where we had emerging hot spots and problems but we're going to curtail the problem," said Lt. Corey.
This new approach seems to be working.

"Being active and working these communities we've had numerous drug arrests, including everything we've had over 40 in a month's period."

Lt. Corey went on to say that it's not about arrests because that doesn't solve the problem. He believes working in the community is what really helps.