U.S. Department of Justice Community Policing Consortium head Drew Diamond was in Ada last week giving tips and guidance to area residents on how to identify problems that may arise within the city.

During the two-day workshop, residents listed the top three problems with the most damage potential, and the choices consisted of graffiti, lack of rehabilitation for substance abuse users and neighborhood cleanup.

While the initial two could play a role in the waning of city value, it was the neighborhood cleanup idea that seemed to be at the root of all problems. The basic premise was that a dirty neighborhood could possibly be a potential breeding area for other problems, such as graffiti and drugs. Now that a problem has been clearly defined, what's next?

It is up to residents of the community to pull together and make Ada a better place for everyone to live and work in.

There is currently an Ada Chamber of Commerce group, The Beautification Committee, which has been formed to tackle such problems.

According to Jenny Cypert, committee volunteer, the program is still in its early stages and will begin to address the issue of city cleanup in the near future.

"The committee was created to work with the city of Ada on city ordinances that need to be adhered to by city of Ada residents," she said. "Right now we're setting goals and objectives."

Ada Public Information Officer Mark Bratcher said that while the city tries to remedy areas in the community, it often relies on participation from citizens.

"The city does all it can but relies on citizens to call problems to our attention," he said. "There is a process whereby a property can be reported to code enforcement."

In order to prevent city decay and promote the value of the community, there must be involvement from everyone in Ada. If the public each helps with a small portion, Ada can become a city that will attract even more businesses and families.