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Recently, WVXU set up our microphones in Madisonville and asked people to sit down and talk with us about their community. They told us what they loved, what they worried about and their dreams for the future. The WVXU news staff took all that information and spent more time in Madisonville doing our own investigating. These stories are a result of these Community Conversations.WVXU hopes to be able to visit more neighborhoods in the future.

How Madisonville Residents And Police Minimized Crime

Ann Thompson
(from left) Cincinnati Police Officer Al Brown and District Two Commander Kimberly Williams near the corner of Madison and Whetsel where there used to be blatent drug dealing and prostitution.

Madisonville, a community plagued by crime more than a decade ago, is now a lot safer as evidenced by a walk down Madison Road near Whetsel Avenue.

That's where a new bakery has opened and the old Fifth Third building has been turned into apartments. Gone are corner drug dealers and prostitutes.

Cincinnati Police gives credit to Citizens on Patrol. The volunteers patrolling thank police.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Madisonville residents Kim and Tom Eppens have been members of Citizens on Patrol since 1999 and are encouraged life is changing for the better in their community.

Citizens on Patrol Coordinator Tom Eppens has noticed more young families moving into Madisonville. "When you start seeing that it makes me feel good because I know what we're doing and what the police are doing and what the probation are doing. It's working," Eppens says.

Officer Al Brown  remembers what it was like when he first started patrolling in Madisonville. "There were times when you could drive down Madison Road at Madison and Whetsel, Madison and Ward and Matheson, you would see pockets of our youth handing out, possibly dealing. I will tell you today that you no longer see that," Brown said.

Eppens and his wife Kim have been patrolling since 1999. Kim says they both got tired of seeing open-air drug dealing, prostitution and shootings. "This is not the way to live. This is not the way the community is supposed to be."

The turnaround is also thanks to corporate donations and community group involvement, according to Police District Two Commander Kimberly Williams. "It takes people like Medpace, like MCURC, seeing a potentially great location and helping to bring it back up to where it was. I work with individuals who say they grew up in the Madisonville area and talk about what a wonderful place it was and the thriving businesses," said Williams.

Madisonville is preparing to celebrate its progress. Residents and businesses will come together November 12 to revisit the community's 2012 Quality of Life Plan.

“Madisonville set out with clear and intentional goals 4 years ago to bring increased attention and vibrancy to the neighborhood,” said Sara Sheets, Executive Director of the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. “On November 12, we’ll have a chance to celebrate the neighborhood’s accomplishments, invite newcomers to get involved, and brainstorm ideas for the future.”

The meet and greet, potluck brunch, and open house is from 10:30-1:00 p.m. at the Madisonville Recreation Center, 5320 Stewart Road.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.