Township wants neighborhood watch for businesses

BUTLER TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – Butler Township police want businesses in one of their busiest areas to be vigilant for each other.

A busy stretch of road on Miller Lane brings customers from out of town for food, fun, and a place to stay.

“It’s a safe area during the day but at night it can get pretty scary,” said Jana Falknor, a manager at the Verizon Wireless store on Miller Lane.

Stores, hotels, and restaurants line this area near the I-70 and I-75 interchange.

With the large amount of people coming in and out of the area, businesses and employees are hoping a new program will keep them from being victims.

“It will definitely make me feel a lot safer knowing that other people will be watching out for me this area can get a little bit scary at night,” said Falknor.

It is an area where police say they spend a majority of their resources protecting.

The department is hoping a new Business District Neighborhood Watch. The program would have businesses and owners working together with police to protect the area.

“Fifty-seven percent of all police reports for the entire township come out of that business district,” said Butler Township Police Chief John Cresie.

Cresie said that number is in reference to the area where the township has formed a Joint Economic Development Zone between Benchwood Road, North Dixie Drive, Little York Road, and Dixie Drive.

“When you have business versus residential, typically you have more need for police services due to either bad checks, unhappy customers, whatever the problem is,” said Cresie. “Typically, it focuses on the businesses.”

It is a program businesses are willing to try to make anyone’s stop here more enjoyable.

“Think it will be really good that we’re all watching out for each other to make sure that there’s not any crazy activity going on,” said Falknor. “If one store sees something, we’re going to be able to alert each other.”

The Butler Township Police Department has implemented a similar program for hotels in the area. That program began back in 2013 and has been met with success, according to the department.

The first meeting for the Business District Neighborhood Watch is scheduled for August 13 at 3 p.m. at the Butler Township Towne Hall.

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