Grant will put cop in shopping centers

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – A new federal grant for the Fire Department seeks to reduce crime at its two busy shopping complexes.

A $50,000 Justice Assistance Data Driven Approach to Crime and Study grant the city council voted to accept Tuesday will place an officer at Fairlane Green Shopping Center and adjacent Independence Marketplace, spots both plagued by incidences of shoplifting and the recipients of frequent police runs to respond to theft reports.

“By saturating that area, we can drive the level of crime down,” Police Chief James Wilkewitz said.

The grant will pay for an officer already employed by the department to be stationed in the area for eight hours a day from Black Friday to Christmas Eve and Fridays and Saturdays the rest of the year.

The grant, which will last one year, requires a 10 percent match by the city. The $5,000 matching funds will be taken from city drug forfeiture funds, Wilkewitz said.