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June 14, 2012 - Joe Gorman
It's not the calendar that announces it's summer time, at least on the South Side of Youngstown.
I was notified of the change of seasons Wednesday by a veteran police officer as he unfurled crime scene tape at the scene of a homicide at 246 Hilton Ave. on the South Side.
He told me that summer is here and he expects it to be a long one.
He may have a point. With 15 homicides already, Youngstown is well ahead of last year's pace of 24 and it seems as if police can not catch a break, even with extra patrols out as part of the VIP, or Violence Interdiction Program.
This will be a good test of police Chief Rod Foley;'s two pronged strategy to target known criminals and trouble areas with a combination of programs aimed at cutting down on violence before it starts, especially when it comes to retalitation, which detectives say is responsible for a lot of the violence in the city.
Foley has a mandate from Mayor Charles Sammarone to try whatever he thinks is necessary to clamp down on the city's violence problem, so this will be a good test to see what kind of summer it will be in the city, especially on the South and parts of the East Side.
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