The Warren Police Department has started its second Citizens Academy in which city residents learn how the department works and ways to keep their neighborhoods safer. The end result is better communication and understanding between officers and the citizens who care most about their communities.
We suggest taking this program a giant step forward.
The Trumbull County sheriff should deputize the Citizens Academy graduates along with dozens or even hundreds of members of Warren's various neighborhood groups. Local businesses could provide these lay deputies with bright vests and flashlights. In sizes determined safe by Warren's police chief, these lay deputies would patrol on foot in groups and with the ability to contact police quickly when they see suspicious activity.
It doesn't take weapons or vigilantes to make drug dealers, prostitutes and other miscreants feel mighty uncomfortable.
Imagine during downtown events Courthouse Square and surrounding streets swarming with friendly, easily-identifiable lay deputies. Warren might become the safest city in America, but more importantly, its visitors might feel like they're in the safest city in America.