Crime-watch group meets in Lancaster tonight

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By Jesef Williams

Concerned residents and local officials are joining forces to address crime in the city of Lancaster.

City Councilwoman Tamara Green has organized a new group called the Lancaster Alternative Policing Strategy, or LAPS, that will meet regularly to talk about crime and related concerns.

LAPS will meet at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the main branch of the Lancaster County Library.

The group’s first meeting is tonight.

Green said one of her main focal points as a councilwoman is to address the crime rate. She believes the city needs an active crime-watch group.

“It’s a need because the police can’t do it all,” she said.

Green also hopes the initiative will bring residents and law officers closer together. She said some residents need to learn to trust the police.

“They’re not here to hurt us, they’re here to help us,” Green said. “We’ve got to work together to keep everybody safe.”

Capt. Harlean Howard of the Lancaster Police Department said this will be the first time in about four years that a crime-watch group has been active here.

She sees these groups a way for police to give information to the community.

Crime watch kickoff

LAPS is having its crime watch kickoff from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lancaster Community Center on Barr Street.

Crime watch members, law officers and other groups will speak about safety and how crime affects the community.

The event, which will feature food, games and prizes, is free.

For details about LAPS, call Green at 287-9975.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152