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Crime Spike In North Reno Sparks A Dialogue

Reno Police Department

Story update:Reno Police reported on January 4, 2016 that the 16-year-old shooting victim at Pat Baker Park has died from his injuries, and the 15-year-old defendant is now being charged with open murder. The case is heading to the Washoe County District Attorney's Office to determine if the defendant should be tried as an adult.

A team of Reno Police officers and community leaders knocked on dozens of doors Thursday in North Reno where there has been a disconcerting spike in crime. 

Just days ago, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the head at Pat Baker Park, and the prime suspect is a 15-year-old boy who has been arrested and charged with attempted homicide. The victim is in recovery and police say the shooting was not gang-related.

In response to that incident and a few others, Reno Police formed what it calls a neighborhood contact team to check in with nearby residents. Officer Tim Broadway knocked on several doors himself.

"Their biggest concern was speeding in the neighborhood, but also lighting," Broadway says, "so we'll try to get traffic-calming devices and lighting as soon as possible."

Along with talking to residents, they offered several other critical services.

"Some of the families that didn't have any money to provide gifts for their children, we brought gifts," Broadway says. "We brought food, jackets, and shoes to children in the neighborhood."

The department has organized similar efforts in other crime-ridden areas throughout the city. 


Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
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