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Chief Lashbrook explains how MCPD is handling crime

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – At last night’s Mason City Council meeting, Police Chief Michael Lashbrook took time to explain to the public how his department is battling crime in the city at this time.

He said his department is employing a number of programs to keep things under control.

Lashbrook (pictured) said that traffic enforcement is “one of the most proactive functions a police department can perform” despite the public feeling otherwise, or feeling that officers may have “better things to do.”  Lashbrook says that traffic stops help detect and deter crime and are a source of intelligence gathering.

“We are looking for the person on the block,” Chief Lashbrook said.  “Community involvement… they are the eyes and ears,” he said, as the department continues to rely on the public for information and tips on crimes that are committed.

The MCPD has participated in programs like SALT (seniors and law enforcement together), a collaborative effort between various entities and law enforcement agencies, which works to prevent and solve crimes.

Lashbrook also said that there is no way to predict in the city when or where violent crime will take place.

Lashbrook’s presentation comes in the wake of several murders within the last year or so in the city as well as other criminal activity and lawlessness that the public has taken notice of.  Vandalism has continued to plague the city, and widespread chaos spread through last month’s band festival carnival.  Scores of youth were brought in for questioning and banned from the park after a series of brawls erupted that weekend in East Park.  Many folks said they would no longer attend after witnessing this, and MCPD had to call in backup from around the area as youth became aggressive and advanced on the officers.

The chief said that anyone who wants to start a neighborhood watch program is free to contact the Mason City Police  Department for information.  That number is 641-421-3636.

On a related note, Mayor Eric Bookmeyer reminded the public to volunteer for the park watch program, which is down in numbers.  This program has been instrumental in keeping some vandalism out of the parks.

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