Thursday, May 30, 2013

Milton one of safest cities in country.

AM NOTE: I enjoyed reading about one of our hero's in uniform; Officer Ara Baronian. It would be interesting to see how many open road neighborhoods have this community watch program in place-Tim Enloe.

by Carolyn Aspenson; The Milton Herald

MILTON, Ga. -- Real Estate data company Neighborhood Scout listed Milton as the 39th safest city in the country.

Their report, published earlier this month is based on the total number of property and violent crimes compiled by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting database per 1,000 residents in cities with 25,000 or more residents.

Milton was one of three Georgia cities to make the list.

"The Police Department strives to maintain high visibility in the community," Milton Police Community Outreach Officer Ara Baronian said. "Our uniform patrol division takes a proactive approach to keeping the city safe."

He said the department continuously analyzes incident reports and crime data to determine what areas need additional focus.

"Our officers receive assignments for 10 neighborhoods and 10 businesses daily, in addition to their regular beat,' he said. "They're required to walk areas like the club house and pool and go inside the business."

Baronian said this creates visibility in the community for both residents and people who might consider committing a crime. "Of course our first responsibility is to 911 calls," he said.

Milton consists of about 40 square miles with a large portion of that being estate, horse farms and subdivisions.

The city doesn't have a high crime rate, but what crime there is tends to be concentrated in the areas near the Windward corridor.

"We obviously can't sit outside of Walmart, but since there tends to be a higher volume of crimes in that area, we've always got an officer close by," Baronian said.

The department sets up safety checks about four times a year, which Baronian says aren't just to give tickets.

"We view this as a way of ensuring the safety of our residents," he said. "It allows us to interact with and educate them."

The city also developed their own community watch program, called MPACT – Milton Police and Cities Together.

The program unites a specific officer with a neighborhood to work together to keep the community safe.

"It's relationship building," Baronian said. "Once a neighborhood is certified, they work with an assigned officer who meets with their association once a year and patrols that community as part of their regular patrol."
Baronian feels MPACT is part of the reason Milton crime rates stay low.

"We work hard to keep our residents informed and encourage them to report things they believe to be out of the ordinary," he said. "The residents play a big part in keeping Milton safe."

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