Oshkosh has seen a string of violent crimes recently: from attempted assaults to a stabbing and armed robbery. Now a citizen has started a movement to "take back" the city.
Lorenzo Annis has lived in Oshkosh 29 years. He told FOX 11 he loves the city, but says a recent crime wave has him worried.
"I find that to be kind of saddening that people have to fear," said Annis.
So Annis organized a community forum called "Take Back Your City Oshkosh". Residents were invited to brainstorm on how to make the city safer.
"To show the community that there are avenues they can explore and ways that they can be proactive," said Annis.
Annis also created a "Take Back Your City Oshkosh" Facebook at page https://www.facebook.com/Takebackyourcityoshkosh in order to get more people involved.
"We probably share a vision," said Police Chief Scott Greuel of Annis.
Greuel spoke at Friday's forum. He told FOX 11 he understands people's concerns.
"Things go in cycles sometimes. Overall our violent crime is up a little bit," said Greuel.
According to Greuel it's normal for a city to go through rough patches. He told us citizens can help by joining a neighborhood watch and keeping police informed.
The department also does community policing where one officer is assigned to a single neighborhood.
"Put a face to the uniform and talk to us, report anything that seems suspicious," Greuel explained.
Annis told us his movement has gotten criticism. Some have left Facebook comments calling him a vigilante, which he says he is not.
"That's what the Oshkosh Police Department is for, to take your calls and resolve crime that way," Annis explained, continuing to say, "the only thing that you really can do in a bad way is not trying at all.
And Annis told us this is just the first step to taking his city back.
The police chief says many of the recent violent crimes in Oshkosh are a result of a rising heroin problem in the city.
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