"I've been here five years... I grew up a couple blocks away," said Bonnie Forrest.
The Rutland native says a lot has changed in the city since her days as a kid. Now a manager at a convenience store on the corner of Park Street, Forrest says she sees criminal activity all the time.
"There is a lot of stuff that goes on in this corner that shouldn't be. There have been drug busts down the street and kids getting beat up down the next street -- it hasn't been a good scene around here," Forrest said.
Forrest says she always thought the surrounding neighborhood saw the most crime, and now a new system in the police department proves her hunch. "About a year ago, as part of the strategic plan to address the quality of life issues in the city, we started mapping calls for service, location of crime," said Rutland Police Chief James Baker.
Grant money is paying for the data-driven policing. Chief Baker says now they are able to breakdown and digitally map crime across the city."We try to determine crime patterns, location of crimes, what are the locations where most of the activity is occurring. And then we brainstorm about strategies to try and reduce that," he said.
By looking at daily service calls to the department they found that citizen disputes are at the top of the list. Animal complaints and family problems come next. And some of the findings, Chief Baker says, they weren't expecting. "This has always been surprising since we have been doing the mapping -- our busiest times for crime and calls for service, are Wednesdays and Thursdays in the afternoon, sometime between 3 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. at night," Baker said.
The crime mapping also shows that the downtown shopping plaza is a major hub for criminal activity -- and a vast majority of all larcenies across the city happen in that one spot. Chief Baker says the department's use of crime maps since May has been paying off. "So what we have been able to do as a result of that is deploy resources into the areas where we know crime is re-occurring, at the time it's re-occurring. And we are using our resources better to address that. And as a result of that I think you will see that some of our stuff is starting to go south -- we are starting to drive those numbers down," Baker said.
Bonnie Forrest says she has noticed and appreciates an increase in police patrols both day and night, but that there is a long way to go -- and until then, her tough skin will help. "I'm not afraid too much... If I was, I probably wouldn't work here," she said.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:40:46 GMT
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.The owner of the home on Pike Drive called for help a little after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived theyMore >>
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:38:52 GMT
Jazz fingers, dance moves -- and plenty of passion. The Urban Reach Dance Convention is giving aspiring dancers the chance to learn from some of the music industry's most acclaimed teachers, who have workedMore >>
Aspiring dancers hit the floor this weekend at the 8th annual Urban Reach Dance Convention.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-03-09 22:08:59 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
Sunday morning CCTA officials announced that after a marathon negotiation session they delivered a complete contract proposal to the union.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend. His office says the Governor was at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. He is expected toMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend.More >>