IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Community-oriented policing is a simple idea to keep us safe.
"They knew you, they knew your family, they knew what your struggles were, they knew what the neighborhood problems were, and that was a great way for communities to reduce crime because it just opened those lines of communication," said Chief of Police, Bryce Johnson.
It isn't a new concept, but it is getting renewed attention from the Idaho Falls Police Department.
Chief Johnson launched a Neighborhood Police Officer Program last July.
"Police are the public, the public is the police it's a community partnership. So we're putting the resources of the time and is trying to build those community relationships. We think over time that it will have a great impact in those neighborhoods and maybe we can expand it to other neighborhoods in the future," Johnson said.
Right now the department has two officers dedicated to two neighborhoods that have a high crime rate based on statistics. These officers are stationed in the communities from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
While you may think crime would have decreased in those areas, that's not necessarily the case.
"Interesting enough crime has increased since we started the program back up statistically, that doesn't mean that the crime itself increased it means that there's a police officer there able to see what was actually occurring the neighbors probably knew it was all occurring all along," said Johnson.
However, Chief Johnson says they anticipate those crime numbers going down as the problems are taken care of, and that the impact from the change will reach citywide.
"If we can reduce that and help those neighborhoods revitalize and help those neighborhoods become what they were in the past what they have the potential to be in the future. That changes families, that changes kids who go to school, that increases business opportunity, that's an economic driver that can really benefit the city," Johnson said.