MIDDLEPORT — A warning to residents about the increasing crime in Middleport and the necessity of being aware of the problem so caution can be taken has been given by both Middleport Chief of Police Bruce Swift and Mayor Mike Gerlach.
Swift and Gerlach agree that the problem is not only in Middleport but is in every town and city and that it appears to be getting progressively worse. They also agree that most of the break-ins are drug related. Just recently in Middleport two churches, eight or more homes, and a business have been broken into.
“They are doing it often. They are doing it at night. They are doing it during the day. They are doing it while we are away, at work, at church, at the store. They are watching us better than we are watching them,” warned Gerlach.
Swift said the officers have leads they are working on and they are getting those narrowed down. He said right now the best advice he can give to residents is to increase security efforts. The latest break-in was reported Sunday night at a residence on Broad Street where a 50-inch television was among items removed from the home while the family was out-of-town.
Gerlach stressed that the warning about crime comes not as a scare tactic to encourage residents to vote for the two renewal levies on the March 6 ballot, although he did say the funding from those levies is needed to support the police department.
“Neither are new and they won’t increase your taxes. They are both to support our police,” Gerlach said.
“We used to have two police officers a shift and now we only have one. That is half the patrol time and half the investigation time. That means we wait if the officer is already on a call; it means we have less arrests and less convictions and the bad guys know it.”