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Crime discussed at VanderLeest listening session

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – On Tuesday, Sept. 10, District 11 Alderman John VanderLeest welcomed his constituents at Bay Family Restaurant for a listening session, with the goal to share updates and gain input.

Community Police Officer Ron Schaden with the Green Bay Police Department was on hand to give residents an update on crime in the district.

“The main issues out here recently are theft/burglaries from autos,” Schaden said. “Unfortunately those types of thefts are pretty tough to solve. Leave a light on for us, or put a motion light in – that will drive 90-percent of your issues away right there.”

Schaden said if residents see something and it doesn’t look right or feel right – it probably doesn’t belong in the area.

“Call it in,” Schaden said. “If you see something that’s not right, call right away. You guys are our eyes.”

Residents shared concerns about the Admiral Court Apartment Buildings – noting drug busts and noise nuisances as common problems.

Schaden was sympathetic of the issues neighbors are dealing with and assured residents the police department is doing whatever it can to deal with the issues.

Schaden said there have been cameras installed at Admiral Court Apartment Buildings and the police department has the ability to the access the video at any time if needed for an investigation.

“I think the Green Bay Police Department is trying to address these issues in your neighborhood, putting more resources there,” VanderLeest said.

VanderLeest said the Brown County Drug Task Force had three significant drug busts since 2017 of 50 or more people.

“These are dangerous drug rings pushing meth and heroin on our streets,” VanderLeest said. “Get to know your neighbors and be observant of your neighborhood.”

One of the main issues Schaden said the department is facing is the shortage of officers – noting a 14-officer deficit.

“When I got hired, 600 people took the test, now we can’t get 25 people to show up,” Schaden said. “It’s a profession that people don’t want to go into now. Unfortunately, the process to hiring an officer is not a short process.”
Schaden said on most days, the department runs on minimum man power.

“It’s hard for us to be proactive in a squad when we are running from call to call,” Schaden said. “It’s a nationwide problem as well.”

Speeding on residential streets was also a concern raised by residents.

If residents are noticing continuous speeding problems on their residential streets, Schaden encouraged them to call the police department.

He said a traffic enforcement officer will look into addressing the concern, using patrolling squads and speed boards as resources.

Also during the listening session, VanderLeest shared with residents the new process the City of Green Bay will use next year in regards to property tax collection.

“As far as the tax collection goes for the coming up year of 2020, the City of Green Bay is going to be collecting the taxes at City Hall for the first installment,” VanderLeest said. “If you pay your taxes in full, you will pay them at in full at city hall, verses at the county. The city has elected to collect their own taxes for the first quarter. Legally that is their right, and that is what they will do. A little bit of a change for folks that pay in person, or if you mail it in you have to mail it in to the City of Green Bay. More information will be sent out.”

VanderLeest said Brown County will be printing the tax bills, but the city will be collecting the first installment.

About 20 residents attended Tuesdays meeting. VanderLeest also serves as Brown County District 10 Supervisor.

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