Former New York Met donates $12,000 to keep Ithacaâ??s West Hill neighborhood safe

A former Major League Baseball All-Star is putting up big money for more police patrols in an Ithaca neighborhood that's seen an increase in crime in recent years.

Mo Vaughn, who has played with the Boston Red Sox, Anaheim Angels, and most recently with the New York Mets, has put $12,000 toward patrols around the West Village Apartment Complex in the West Hill neighborhood.

Vaughn owns and manages the complex with his business partner Eugene Schneur.

The money would allow for saturation patrols, two-person teams of officers, who would walk around to interact with neighbors to make them feel more comfortable and reassured that they will be kept safe.

These officers would also investigate crimes already committed in the area.

You may remember, this is the same area where a 5-year veteran of the Ithaca Police force, Officer Anthony Augustine, was shot in the chest last fall.

Augustine was trying to chase a man suspected in a stolen vehicle case.

Ithaca Police are grateful for the new funding and say it will help accomplish their goal of "restoring the West Hill to a vibrant place."

The department says patrols will start immediately, and asks anyone with information that could assist officers in solving cases in the neighborhood to call them at (607) 272-3245. Neighbors may also leave anonymous messages at (607) 697-0333.