The Citizens’ Protection Ministry’s plan to curb rising crime in the capital by deploying neighborhood police officers is to begin this week as 114 officers are dispatched to 18 precincts across Attica to conduct pilot patrols. The measure, which was successfully implemented for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, is to be introduced again in Attica for a six-month trial period before being extended to Thessaloniki and other major cities in Greece. According to a statement issued by the police force’s headquarters in Athens, the officers will spend the first week of the pilot program meeting local residents, shopkeepers and school representatives to get an overview of local problems. Next week, the officers are to undergo additional training with psychologists and sociologists and the week after that the neighborhood units are to be boosted by an additional 104 policemen and women. Each of the 18 precincts is to be divided into three or four smaller areas to be patrolled by two officers at a time.