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Clearwater police chief's new policy nets arrests

CLEARWATER — A policy implemented by the city's new police chief resulted in arrests Tuesday night.

Police working the new neighborhood patrol arrested two men on drug charges after a resident asked them to investigate a suspicious home down the street.

The resident approached the officers with concerns about drug activity at a home at 2757 Tasha Drive on Tuesday evening.

Officers met with the two residents and found 15 ounces of marijuana, authorities said.

Arrested on marijuana possession charges were Daniel Demetrius Hepburn, 20, and Christopher Mikkel Crumbley, 21, both of Clearwater.

Both men were taken to Pinellas County Jail and released after posting $5,000 bail.

Chief Tony Holloway introduced the neighborhood policing initiative — called "Park, Walk and Talk" — in April.

The program encourages police officers to connect with residents and learn more about neighborhood issues.

It also gives residents who are wary of the police an opportunity to report suspicious activity.

When Holloway began a similar neighborhood policing program in Somerville, Mass., the city saw a 12 percent drop in violent crimes and burglaries, he said.

The purpose, Holloway said when the plan was unveiled, is "the three E's" — to "evaluate" issues and concerns in the community, "educate" residents about services and public safety strategies and "enforce."

"It's significant because it's what the program was designed to do," Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said.

Clearwater police chief's new policy nets arrests 05/05/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 9:02pm]
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