MENASHA (NBC 26) — Research on crime rates throughout cities in the Fox Valley has shown a decrease in violent and property crime in Menasha throughout the past few years.
In 2018, Menasha had some of the highest crime rates throughout the Fox Cities, but now they are among some of the lowest.
Rosita Eisenach is the owner of The Old Grog in downtown Menasha.
"It's been The Old Grog since 1973. It's been through a few different hands in that timeframe, but we've had it for the last four years,” said Eisenach.
In the past, she's found herself worrying about what's going on outside her doors, rather than in.
"As a business owner we've had our windows shot out with a BB gun, we've had some damage to our property outside, damage to flowerpots, things like that,” said Eisenach.
She said those crimes occurred in 2018 when she bought the business.
"Right around that time, there was a shift in Menasha and in law enforcement, in general, to be more proactive than reactive,” Dan Hoernke, Menasha Community Liaison Officer said.
That's where the Menasha police department programs come in.
"The first program that has really been helping our community over the last three years, they're going into their fourth year, is the MCAAP - Menasha Community Addiction Assistance Program,” said Officer Hoernke.
This program helps struggling addicts find help in the community through referrals by the police.
"Another program I work on a regular basis doing referrals is the mental health navigator program. It's a newer program, it's maybe only been around two years,” said Officer Hoernke.
These are just a few of many programs run by the police department. Menasha Mayor, Donald Merkes, attributes lower crime rates to those programs.
"Our police department is very proactive and the things that they're doing are really creating benefits for the community,” said Mayor Merkes.
Rosita Eisenach agrees that police engagement with the community has done a lot for Menasha.
"I feel that our residents here really trust our police. You can call them for anything, and they don't judge you, they don't treat you differently,” said Eisenach.