Community involvement in crime prevention programs is not something new in the city of Oshkosh, Winnebago County, WI. The people in the city, together with law enforcement agencies, share the belief that crime is a social problem that should be solved at the community level.
One such notable effort to assist police in combating crime came from an
unexpected source. A martial arts school called Members of IMPACT Martial Arts raised a 1,000 dollars donation which was given to the Oshkosh Police dog unit in the beginning of November.
This sum of money was raised mainly from the selling of T-shirts. The shirts were specially design to express empathy towards the city’s law officers for the hard work they do on a daily basis to keep the law abiding population safe.
Chris Baardsen, a police officer in the past and currently the owner of the martial arts school, proudly said that the donation symbolized the care and feelings of support the people in Oshkosh feel towards the police.
High crime rates in Oshkosh
Although there has been much improvement in recent years, one should bear in mind that Oshkosh still struggles with high crime rates. In fact, it is considered safer than only 28% of the cities in the United States.
There are close to 170 violent crimes and 1,500 property crimes in the city every year on average. Police report 2.5 cases of violent offenses per 1,000 people. To compare the situation in Oshkosh to the rest of Wisconsin, one should pay attention to the following figure: in the entire state, on average 22 crimes take place in 1 square mile. In Oshkosh the number is 66. Nationwide, the average is 32.8.
There is no doubt that if the community keeps on taking a proactive role in supporting and helping the police fight crime, we will witness improvement in years to come. The streets will become safer and the quality of life higher.