Martins brings Pawtucket’s crime prevention initiative to North Providence

Martins brings Pawtucket’s crime prevention initiative to North Providence

NORTH PROVIDENCE – New Deputy Chief of Police Arthur Martins, who was previously recognized for his work implementing the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design techniques in Pawtucket, is bringing the same program to North Providence in hopes of reducing opportunities for criminals.

“We’re going to start from the ground up and hopefully get to a point where we can deter crime, reduce crime, and increase the perception of (those in) the community,” he said.

Two officers, Lt. Michael Tavarozzi of community policing and Lt. Michel Scarumuzzo of planning and training, have been trained in the concepts of CPTED.

Martins was previously featured in a CPTED publication for the work that was done in the Barton Street neighborhood in Pawtucket, which help lead to a dramatic reduction in crime and multiple awards for the efforts.

“Obviously, I am a big believer in the principles of CPTED,” he said. “We want to get a message out to the public that the services of the two newly trained officers are available to residents and business owners.  The officers can go to homes, businesses, apartment complexes, etc. to conduct an assessment and to advise on how to attempt to make the properties less attractive to crime as well as instituting measures to make better protect the area.”

Upon request, police will visit anyone in town, whether they be a homeowner, business owner, or run a church or some other organization, and review access controls, camera systems, safety barriers and other items “that would be a direct safety measure,” said Tavarozzi, who is heading up the program.

Police are currently working on analyzing local schools as part of the program.

Martins said police will visit any building to make suggestions on measures that could be instituted to make a property less attractive to criminals. Those measures could be added fencing or shrubbery as a sort of barrier, removal of fencing or shrubbery to give criminals less of a hiding spot, or adding LED lighting to replace incandescent lighting to brighten up a space. Shrubbery reaching four to six feet in height is known to provide a great spot for someone to conceal themselves, he said, and the suggestion might be as simple as trimming back the bushes to increase visibility.

One of the best examples anywhere of how CPTED proved effective was at the Prospect Heights housing complex at 560 Prospect St. in Pawtucket, said Martins. The iron fencing around the complex was placed as a result of an analysis showing that it had become a “drug corridor” with too many access points, or ways in and out. People would run in to make a transaction, he said, and police found the job of catching them “that much more difficult.” Prospect Heights also now has better lighting and cameras, he said.

The efforts in Pawtucket have been continued under Sgt. Ken Dolan and the Neighborhood Response Unit.

While most people aren’t shocked by the suggestions police make, as they’re fairly simple concepts, they do see certain aspects of their property in a different light when it’s brought up, he said.

Tavarozzi said he’s more than happy to speak with anyone who wants an analysis done on their property. He can be reached at 401-231-4533, ext. 111.