COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) -- Police Investigator Ric Higgins hopes to solve a series of burglaries in and around an east Columbus neighborhood.
He questions everyone he encounters.
"Well, we go to neighborhoods that have been hit by burglaries recently. We'll go to as many houses as possible and talk to residents and let them be aware of what's going on in the neighborhood and things they can to do to try to prevent it and also be sure to call us if they see anything out of the ordinary," Higgins said.
Investigator Higgins and other members of the Criminal Investigation Division are part of a new initiative called "Taking it to the Streets."
All are required to follow up with recent victims of criminal activity. Investigators are required to make contact with ten people a day.
Columbus police say canvassing a neighborhood with this approach can be much more effective, especially in certain areas.
Rather than show up in a marked patrol car, they prefer to make the rounds in an unmarked vehicle and wear business attire.
"Sometimes there's a certain stigma about a person in a uniform with a badge on. If you come in in plain clothes and are professionally dressed, they are more likely to tell you something or call back later on if they see something," Higgins added.
"We're gathering information and trying to find out some things about who is doing what and we've gotten some valuable information from the citizens," Assistant Chief of Police Joe Johnson, Jr. said.
"This is great. We need that. It's really good to make the neighbors feel safe," Victoria Johnson said.
"It's nice for them to do it because things happen, you know," Carl Gardner said.
Officers will also be handing out crime prevention information as well.