‘Python’ inspires increased patrols

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Operation Python.  It sounds like something Samuel L. Jackson would put into place to rid the skies of vicious, bloodthirsty snakes.

In actuality, it is the new foot patrols that the Milwaukee Police Department is putting into action to increase security just off the northwest side of campus.  Officers will amp up patrol from North 12th Street to North 27th Street and from West Center Street to West Vienna Street, according to Fox 6 News’ website.

The name Operation Python comes from the idea that this is an attempt to put a stranglehold on illicit activities in certain neighborhoods that have given MPD trouble in the past.

Lovina Troupe, a longtime resident of the area Operation Python is targeting, said she is excited about the new patrols that have been put into effect because it has been years since she felt safe outside in her neighborhood.

“Years ago I used to work on my lawn, watering the flowers late into the afternoon, but in recent years I have been afraid to because of the [people] that used to hang out on the street corners,” Troupe said.

But with the increased security presence in the area, people are actually leaving their homes, and the neighborhood is coming to life, she said.

“People in the neighborhood, on my block especially, have gotten to know each other again,” Troupe said.  “We are using our porches again.”

Troupe said the officers have come around more often since Operation Python was put into action. This, she said, is something her late husband would rave about.

“My husband used to always say that the police never came around anymore,” she said.

The Department of Public Safety has a similar plan in action, with many foot and bike patrols policing campus.

According to Sgt. Cristopher Gatzke of DPS, on a typical Wednesday evening DPS may have six officers patrolling from 3 to 9 p.m., when another seven will join.  These numbers increase on the weekends, beginning with five or six and increasing two more at 7 p.m. and six more at 9 p.m.

These patrols make public safety transparent and allow for more comfort to those they are protecting.

“Foot patrols are good because they allow the officers to have more personal contact with individuals on the street,” said Russell Shaw, associate director of DPS. “People can approach the officers easier, the officers become familiar and get to know the business owners better and when [the neighborhood] gets to know the officers, the comfort level becomes much greater.”

Students agree that these patrols have a positive impact on Marquette’s community.

“I think it works, because anytime anything happens, DPS responds very quickly, keeping our campus a safe and friendly environment,” said Daniel Hughes, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration.

The patrols allow for students to know that someone is always making sure they are safe from harm.

“Just the knowledge that there are people paying attention to my surroundings makes me feel more secure walking around campus,” said Laura Mark, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences.

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