Residents unite to fight crime in Michigan City | Local News

MICHIGAN CITY – A grassroots organization was recently formed to involve more residents in reducing crime in Michigan City.

The Michigan City Crime Prevention and Safety Organization invites the public to its first organizational meeting on Monday.

Councilman Paul Przybylinski, D-2nd, said he got involved because he was concerned about the crime and frustrated he didn’t do more to curb it, in his view.

“We want to help the community do something instead of just sitting around doing nothing and helping where we can help,” he said.

Ed Bohle Jr., a former police officer and retired construction worker, said the organization will serve as an umbrella for the neighborhood watch groups they hope to reestablish across the city.

The idea is for more citizens to monitor crimes and other things like suspicious activity and report their concerns and possible evidence to the police.

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“A lot of crimes are solved through advice of this nature,” Bohle said.

He said the group will also educate residents on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

Bohle said he was a police officer in Michigan City when residents organized to provide law enforcement with extra eyes and ears in the 1970s and 1980s.

“It was a very good solution, and it worked. We’re just trying to reinvent, I guess, neighborhood watch programs.

He said the continued eruption of shootings as well as other crimes like robberies, auto thefts, burglaries and vandalism are driving the effort.

Bohle said he worked for the private security of the owner of a warehouse near Chicago Street that was recently burglarized and vandalized, on average, once a week.

“They were tearing up the place,” he said.

Przybylinski said he also hopes that input from more residents will better determine the causes of rising crime and how to address it more effectively.

“It’s about organizing and finding out what’s going on and finding solutions,” he said.

Ironically, crime appears to be on the decline, according to information from the Michigan City Police Department. There were 6 homicides last year compared to 8 in 2020.

Non-fatal shootings fell from 24 to 19 last year, police said.

Police said there were also 399 complaints of shots being fired in 2021, a slight increase from the previous year.

Bohle said gun violence wasn’t as much of an issue when he was on the force.

“If we had two shootings a year, that was it,” he said.

The 6 p.m. meeting will be held at the Mikropor Training Center at 4921 Ohio St.

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