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Longview police: Community efforts cut homicides

By Robyn Claridy rclaridy@news-journal.com
Jan. 28, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Longview police are attributing a decline in homicides this past year to increased community patrols and officers taking a more active role in the community.

Longview had four reported homicides in 2011. That was down from 10 in 2010; 11 in 2009; nine in 2008; five in 2007; 10 in 2006; and seven in 2005.

Here's a look at the four homicides:

Sept. 27: Police were dispatched to the 1100 block of Hutchings Boulevard, where the body of 31-year-old Orion Marcel Peoples was found. Authorities later arrested 18-year-old Troy Carnell Saddler of Longview in the death.

Oct. 13: Officers were called to the 800 block of Travis Avenue in connection with shots fired. Victor Anthony, 34, of Longview was transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. No arrests have been made in connection with Anthony's shooting death.

March 7: Longview police were dispatched to the 100 block of East Melton Street after family members found 25-year-old Danielo Eugene Nelson dead with a gunshot wound. Dexter Levin Prince was arrested the following day, charged in connection with Nelson's death.

The most recent death was Dec. 8, when police were called to the 1600 block of Oden Street after a woman reported stabbing her husband after he hit her.

Ray Dorphus Jacobs was transported to an area hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police spokeswoman Kristie Brian said the incident is being investigated, and no arrests have been made.

What's different?

Brian said her department has continued to strive to prevent crime.

"We've had increased community awareness programs and have had success with our citizens on patrol program," police Brian said. "Even though crime has decreased in Longview, we are continuing efforts to reduce crime more."

Brian said officers also are "in the community more."

"Our officers are proactive. They are talking to neighbors and encouraging people to call when they see something going on. I also think people are learning to call the police more, which I think is helping to get crime out of the city," Brian said.

The department also was dispatched to significantly fewer calls in 2011 compared to each year since 2001.

Those numbers are:

2011: 45,870

2010: 58,235

2009: 64,485

2008: 67,126

2007: 67,217

2006: 66,412

2005: 63,503

2004: 59,970

2003: 58,478

2002: 57,663

2001: 59,060

One of the initiatives the police department has in place is crime watch groups.

Brian said each of the crime watch groups is assigned a police area representative officer, who attends meetings and helps address needs of the community members for a specific neighborhood.

Booker Street Crime Watch Coordinator Ronald Miller said his watch group is serious about preventing crime in its neighborhood.

"We care a lot about our community. If there is something suspicious, we report it. Well, you'd have to chop of an arm to stop drugs, but if we find out about it, we report it. We call the police department a lot," Miller said.

Miller said in addition to reporting suspicious activity, the group members also ensure they know who is moving into their community.

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