Moline Housing Authority Cuts Ties With Policing Program - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline Housing Authority Cuts Ties With Policing Program

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The Moline Housing Authority is cutting ties with its Community-Oriented Policing program.  Officials say they can no longer afford to keep it the program that started about 30 years ago.  The program is made up of two Moline police officers that closely monitor Spring Brook courts, Spring Valley and Hillside heights.  The Moline housing authority director says the loss of this program won't have much of an impact on the community, but residents say otherwise.

"The crime I have a feeling is going to go back up quickly," resident Ronald Shinn said.

He's lived in Spring Brook courts with his family for almost 16 years and says that's enough time to notice how effective the community policing program has been.  He's worried things will change for the worst once the officers leave.

"They do a good job. they walk around and greet kids and talk to them," explained Shinn. "They'll patrol a lot and keep an eye on people.  I expect by the middle of summer it's going to be more fights. People are going to be out drinking and causing a lot of ruckus and damaging the property."

John Afoun, Moline Housing Authority Executive Director, says the agency had no choice, but to cut funding for the program in order to maintain the expenses of its day to day operations. "We don't want the police to go but we're compelled because of the funding situation. Basically there's no money to pay for the service," said Afoun.  "We pay for staffing insurance and all the general overhead expenses.  The other component is we carry out the day to day repairs of the units we own."  Afoun says the housing authority owns 486 units that total out to about 1500 people that won't have access to the policing services that they're used to.

Still, residents say they are concerned for safety within in their community.  "I can understand cutbacks around here, but I want to feel safe around here," resident Brandon Ford said.

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