Although crimes do happen in Lansing’s Old Town district, police and community members said they generally feel safe in their community.
According to crimemapping.com, a website the Lansing Police Department uses to track crimes throughout its jurisdiction, about 20 crimes have taken place within a one-mile radius of Old Town’s downtown in February.
Many of these were not directly in the area encompassing Old Town Lansing.
Lansing police Sgt. Ryan Cressman said crime is seen in and around the area of Old Town Lansing on occasion, but compared to the rest of Lansing, it doesn’t stick out in terms of high crime rates.
“It’s definitely not an area of concern,” Cressman said.
Because of the small-town atmosphere and community closeness within Old Town, Cressman said business owners and residents within the community are supportive and generally react to crime in a quick and concise manner.
“In general, it’s a very supportive and tight-knit business community there — they’re pretty proactive in responding to crime,” Cressman said. “They’ve done a really nice job bringing back business and building up the community.”
Gwendolyn Conarton, the office coordinator for the aquarium innovations division at Pruess Pets, said most crimes they see around their business are people trespassing or trying to take items the business stores outside.
Generally, Conarton said she is very comfortable in and around the store.
“Because we are security conscious, we don’t seem to have a lot of difficulty with things,” Conarton said. “As long as you’re aware of what’s gong on around you you’re really not going to have too many difficulties.”
Conarton said if any of the employees at Pruess Pets were to have concerns about safety, they would make sure to alleviate their concerns by looking into the situation, walking them to their cars or whatever else it took to meet make them comfortable and safe at the workplace.
In her time at Old Town, Executive Director of the Old Town Commercial Association Louise Gradwohl said she’s never seen any major crime happen in the community.
If something were to occur, however, Gradwhol said the association would make businesses and community members aware.
“We have really good relations with the Lansing Police Department that go way before me, which is really nice — they’re always there to give us a heads up,” Gradwohl said. “We would just keep people up to date on the information so they know they feel safe and they know that it’s being handled.”