Eau Claire Police to Begin Neighborhood Beats January 9

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Rising crime rates and fewer police resources are what Eau Claire's city officers say will have them changing their strategy starting next week.

Instead of a "general assignment" approach, where officers respond all over town, they'll start working a beat specific to a certain part of the city.

Officers say this isn't some kind of ploy to beg for more resources, though they do mention they're running lean right now.

The Chief of the department says he's not looking for neighbors to shoulder more of the responsibility of policing the city, tough he hopes stronger ties form between each officer and the neighborhood they'll start serving on january ninth.

"This is a strategy to move in a particular direction and to establish longer term relationships and it's really a philosophy in policing that will take months and years to fully develop," said Chief Jerry Matysik.

Police say this isn't a temporary change, or something they just decided on a whim either.

Talk of this and temporary research has been going on in town for a couple years, and officers who were involved say you can't ignore the success they've had with it.

"You can recognize when something is out of the ordinary and a crime might be in progress," said Detective Brian Schneider.

Department heads say they'll start out by assigning their officers to 1 of 18 different zones, and they'll end up consolidating with other officers in a north, central, and southern region.

Eau Claire's Chief says this shouldn't be considered a program, but rather a strategy they may tweek from time to time, and don't plan to get rid of.