Courtesy The Milton Herald
August 19, 2013
On Aug. 15, Milton Police Chief Deborah Harrell and Community Outreach Officer Ara Baronian were guest speakers at the Milton Business Alliance's monthly meeting at Crye-Leike Realtors, 282 Rucker Road.
"To me, it is just as important to go out into the community and do what we are doing now than it is to have an officer driving around in a patrol car," Harrell said.
Now that the department has grown from 21 to 32 officers, Harrell said police have expanded their community programs and attend informative events.
Harrell said she brought Baronian to speak with her because he is very involved in the community's outreach activities.
Baronian advised members to join M.P.A.C.T. (Milton Police and Citizens Together), a neighborhood watch program designed to better connect officers with residents.
"Burglary is not a huge problem in Milton, but it is something we deal with weekly," Baronian said. "It's a growing issue and M.P.A.C.T. is one of the ways you can curve it."
Baronian handed out booklets with tips to prevent crimes like burglaries. They can be as simple as turning on lights or knowing what car your neighbor drives.
"A lot of it will be common sense, but think of all the times you know you left seven newspapers on your driveway," Baronian said. "It's just the little things that can make a big difference."
Milton police offer preventative tips for businesses, and Baronian said they hope to have a full-scale program devoted to a "business watch" in the future.
Along with organizing M.P.A.C.T. programs, Baronian instructs "lunch and learns" for businesses and defensive training classes for women ages 13 and up.
Baronian also organizes the upcoming 10-week Citizens Police Academy class starting in September that teaches participants all about being a police officer.
Milton Business Alliance is a 91-member group of local business leaders who support forward business in the city of Milton.
The next meeting will be held in September at Katy's Car Wash, Inc., 12960 Ga. 9.