COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Local organization Community Crime Patrol (CCP) has $375,000 headed its way from the city of Columbus.
CCP is a crime prevention group that hires citizen patrollers to bike and walk through neighborhoods and parks across the city, working to increase safety in Columbus.
Equipped only with flashlights, two-way radios, and their training, patrollers said they deter criminals, build neighborhood awareness of crime prevention techniques, assist in the apprehension of suspects, and provide first aid when needed.
Currently, between 15 and 20 patrollers work in five neighborhoods.
Since CCP was founded in the 1990s, it has played a part in reporting 60,000 incidents and more than 900 arrests, according to its website.
The patrollers said their purpose is simple.
“We’re kind of like your neighborhood Spider-Man,” said Brittany Doyle, a 10-year veteran of CCP. “We’re just out here keeping an eye out for everybody. We’re just trying to make it a nice, safe place to live.”
Doyle believes what her and other patrollers do has really made a difference.
“I think the most measurable thing with us would be quality of life issues — so streetlights that are out, fire hydrants that are leaking, potholes that could possibly eat your car,” Doyle said.
But Executive Director Ellen Moore Griffin said their ultimate goal is to keep people safe.
“The more eyes and ears you have in the neighborhood, the greater deterrence to any kind of crime — be it violent crime or nuisance crime or any kind of crime,” Griffin said.
Doyle said that the idea of making a difference pushes CCP patrollers.
“Maybe we see something that is out of line, seems a little shady, maybe those criminals see us and keep going. That’s the ideal situation,” Doyle said.
When it’s all said and done, everyone is working toward the same goal, she said.
“It’s a layered approach to crime prevention,” Doyle said. “Cameras are great, lights are great, police are amazing, fire is amazing, and we are kind of that in between, where we’re just an extra set of eyes and ears where if we see something we say something.”