Police, residents look for remedies together

The Cape Girardeau Police Department says it has tried just about everything it can think of to cut crime that has plagued the city's south side for years.

Recently the department turned to some experts for assistance: the residents who live there.

Eighteen area residents met with police and offered ideas on making the area less of a hot spot for nighttime crowds, drug dealers and perpetrators of violent crime.

The department most recently tried using barricades along Morgan Oak and Ellis streets with some degree of success, but police don't feel it's a logical, long-term solution.

The barricades were to keep large crowds from gathering on some streets that had turned into a popular hangout after bars close early in the morning. The large number of people posed a variety of problems ranging from noise to fights to drug deals.

The residents, who live with these problems, came to the meeting with police armed with plenty of new ideas, including timed parking zones, residential parking permits and towing offenders. They'd also would like more patrols by officers on foot and with police dogs.

Police are right. One simple remedy is not going to solve the problem. But now they have some ideas from people who know.