Akron residents spoke their minds on how to curb crime and keep safe during the holiday season at the Highland Square branch library Tuesday night.
Highland Square resident Ken Dies says more cops need to patrol the area.
"I think we need a beat cop," he said.
"Someone who patrols the streets and keeps track of who's supposed to be here and who's not supposed to be here."
Summit County District 4 Councilman Frank Comunale held the meeting to give people the opportunity to offer their suggestions to local officials as well as Akron Police on how to prevent crime in their neighborhoods.
Linda, another Highland Square resident says that she loves the eclectic quality that the neighborhood brings and wants to see her fellow neighbors do their part, even if it seems small to them.
"I know that these are hard economic times, and it's very hard to maintain a safe area, but it takes the people to do it."
"Block watch groups, city officials, everyone and anyone who doesn't want to live on the edge," she explained.
Ken Dies doesn't seem to optimistic.
"You can have all the meetings in the world, but you need more cops on the street."
One of the notable speakers at the event was Akron Police Lieutenant Cynthia Christman, who said that just by being aware, living smart, and watching out for your neighbor were just a few of the small things one can do to prevent crime in their neighborhood.
She said that even though numbers are down in the APD, she says those that are concerned should call police, even if they feel they might not need to.
For holiday safety, Christman advises that if you shop at night take a friend along with you, park in a well lighted area, and also avoid having a purse or wallet easily accessible to a robber.
She says that these tips are helpful anytime, but are doubly important during the holidays as more crime happens during this season.
For Highland Square business owners like Jesse Strauther, he believes that young people especially need opportunities to succeed so they don't have to resort to crime.
"A lot of doors are shut to people and they need to be opened, because if you don't give people an opportunity to learn something new, then they will look for alternate ways to survive, and that's not always a good thing.
He says many young kids have thrown rocks at his business and others in Highland Square, and says they wouldn't be doing so if they had something constructive to do.
"I think it takes a community to try and get together to work through the issues and help people out," he says.
Comunale says he was pleased with the turnout and said that he plans on holding another community meeting in January.