Reynoldsburg Officer Targeting Troubled Area Of His Hometown
It's an area of Reynoldsburg that has seen better days.
But Reynoldsburg officials are hoping the addition of a new police position will lead to less crime in the Brice and Livingston corridor.
Officer Tim Kessler is the new community resource officer who has been given the task of turning around that area.
Kessler has only been in his new role since January 5 but has already made one drug bust and is hoping to stop more crime.
"It's my home,” Kessler said. “Nobody likes to see their home decline or start turning out to be bad.”
The Reynoldsburg native says he doesn't like what he has seen happening to portions of the city.
"There's no active crime going on right now, but when people drive by - it's just not appealing,” Kessler said of a strip mall on Brice Rd. just north of Livingston Avenue.
That is why Kessler says he jumped at the chance to become the city's new community resource officer.
“The plan is to see how well it works out here and maybe expand it into other areas,” Kessler said.
Kessler’s patrol area is bordered by Brice Rd. on the west, Retton Rd. on the north, Stouder Dr. on the east and I-70 on the south.
It only makes up about 13 percent of the city, but it has a relatively high concentration of crime.
For example, of the 184 burglaries citywide in 2013, this southwestern portion of Reynoldsburg accounted for 64 of them. It also was home to a third of the city's shootings and stolen vehicles and both of Reynoldsburg's reported stabbings.
"Freeing up an officer full time to do this, it's a good idea,” Kessler said.
He says one major aspect of his position will be building a rapport with business owners and apartment managers.
Kessler has already been working with the management at the Century City Apartments off Brice Rd. and made a marijuana bust on his first day.
"We can swap stories,” said Century City office manager Jamie Lee. “I may know something that I can fill him in with. He may know something that I don't know is going on. If we can work together, we'll really keep the area good."
That is something Kessler wants for the city he calls home.
"We're here for them,” he said.
Kessler says he will be passing out surveys to area businesses and residents.
He says he wants to see what the area feels is needed most from his new role.