Sheriff Urges Community To Help In Curbing Crime (VIDEOS)

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

August 12, 2013 Updated Aug 12, 2013 at 6:03 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Sheriff Ken Fries is encouraging the community to step up and help in keeping their county safe. Sheriff Fries spoke before several members of the community Monday at a meeting for the Fort Wayne Rotary.

Several people voiced concern about the population at the county jail. They asked Fries how the number of inmates can be reduced.

Right now there are about 750 people sitting behind bars on a daily basis at the county jail. Sheriff Fries cites drugs as a major factor. He says drugs can, and often do, fuel other crimes, like robberies. Sheriff Fries thinks the solution would be to have stiffer penalties for drug related crimes.

But his biggest message to the group was that staying safe stretches beyond police. He says to keep any community safe it must be a partnership between the police and the people.

He says too often people in the community don't alert police when they see something happen.

"We have to get the public back involved. We have to get them calling us. We have to get them to say there's something strange going on here and yes I want you to come out to my house, or I want to come out and talk to you, because we don't. We have people that will call a day or two later and say yeah, I saw something going on," said Sheriff Ken Fries, (R) Allen County.

Sheriff Fries says 92 percent of people behind bars in the county jail have been there before. He says to really stop crime in Allen County the drug problems need to be addressed.

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