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Jasper County deputies soon to take on different role - KOAM TV 7

Jasper County deputies soon to take on different role

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Some Jasper County deputies prepare for some different roles.  The Jasper County Sheriff's Office is getting ready for its third annual community policing program.  Last year, the program was centered around a neighborhood just outside of Carthage.

John Jobe lives at the corner of Fountain and Lone Elm roads, just outside of Joplin.  Jobe says he knows the meaning of a stop sign, but apparently others don't.

"I see traffic doing the California stops.  Just rolling stops," says Jobe.

It's dangerous, and against the law.

"When you know where concerns are, where issues are, a lot of times officers can intercept those problems before they become very serious," says Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser.

Kaiser wants to know about other concerns in Jobe's neighborhood.

"Across the street here, they have a lot of scrap metal.  It's junk to some people.  But to some people it's dollar signs.  There's a lot of drug activity around this area," says Jobe.

Jobe will soon see deputies combat these concerns, and asking nearby residents about their worries.  There's also the simple, how are you doing, coming from deputies.  

"It really reverts back to the old school policing.  One-hundred years ago, before we got into patrol cars, officers were walking the beat and they were talking to people who live in the area.  They were talking to business owners.  And they knew what was going on in their neighborhoods," says Kaiser.

Kaiser says after this six-month program is done, calls to deputies increase.  But that's OK.  Kaiser says it means residents are more vigilant.

"We're pretty aware of what goes on around us," says Donna Lawhon, who participated in last year's program.  "Our dogs bark, or whatever, we check it out."

Deputies hope the very least that comes from this program are friendships.

"Some people might think differently on that, but I respect the police authority and they've got a hard job.  For us to get to know our police officers in our town, would be a good idea."

This year's community policing program will start in the middle of next month.  Deputies try to keep in touch with residents after the program has ended.

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