YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Following a community meeting held a couple weeks ago, the city of Youngstown is increasing its police presence downtown.
The decision comes due to Youngstown’s ongoing issues with violence and safety.
Starting Friday night, those in downtown Youngstown can expect to see more of a police presence than usual. The enhanced police presence will begin around 6 p.m. and run through about 2 a.m. every weekend.
“We’re gonna have some patrols. We’re gonna have police cars, motorcycles, on foot to ensure that the folks that come to visit us are safe,” said Lou D’Apolito, assistant law director.
D’Apolito says they plan to start off having an enhanced police presence on the weekends. Throughout the week, there will still be patrol cars, but as things move along, they plan to adapt as needed.
“We’re just trying to see where best can we — how best can we serve the citizens, and then place our assets there,” D’Apolito said.
Downtown business owners say they are thrilled to learn the news.
“When you see a police presence, it does make you feel more secure,” said Ann Massulo, owner of the Avalon Downtown.
She says she has been in close communication with other business owners to discuss how to continue increasing the safety downtown for themselves and their patrons.
“This is just, it’s great news. It really is because we as downtown businesses and land owners down here, we want to promote a safe environment. We don’t want the stigma that we had decades ago to come back,” Massulo said.
Massulo says she is happy the city is investing in downtown because when that happens, it flourishes out into other areas.
The city plans to tackle the lighting downtown next in an effort to increase safety.