On Friday night, Aug. 31, a group of residents in the South French Broad neighborhood were to meet for a civilian patrol when we were seriously outnumbered by participating officers who work in our district. The other two residents and myself were honored to see eight officers show up and offer their support as we walked our community together. The purpose of this canvass was to show [to] those who are selling drugs, prostituting their bodies or picking up drugs or a prostitute that, as a community, we are out there with pride and we will not tolerate such behavior in our neighborhood.
With the help of our community liaison officer, Louis Tomasetti, and Sgt. Luke Bigelow, this event, which will hopefully be repeated, was a very positive one. We got to exchange ideas and learn about things from a policing perspective, like the fact that they are very understaffed and that their district extends from downtown Asheville all the way to Airport Road!
As we canvassed our blocks, we spoke to many people about the purpose of such patrols. In fact, while walking, four out of eight of the officers left to respond to crimes being committed within blocks of the group. The remaining four officers stayed until the end of our roughly mile-and-a-half jaunt. Thank you, officers, for taking a more personal route in the neighborhood you serve!
— Radix Y. Faruq