Montgomery leaders address public concerns

Posted by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Mayor Todd Strange made the trip from City Hall to the outer reaches of the city Tuesday.

Department heads lined the walls of the Sheridan Heights Community Center as homeowners asked for answers.

"It's bringing my property down, down, down. And I'm sick of it," exclaimed one resident, regarding disorderly tenants at local apartments.

Residents discussed cleaning up neighborhoods, maintaining streets, and crime.

"We haven't had any killings out here, but we've had break-ins.  A lot of break-ins," explained Nathan Williams, President of the Sheridan Height's Neighborhood Association.

Thieves and drug dealers topped the list of concerns.

To counter the problem, authorities set up a mobile command post and added officers to the area.

"The substation will be here for a while.  Then, we'll move it to another location so criminals won't know where we are," said Chief Art Baylor of the Montgomery Police Department.

In June, Baylor also plans to implement a program that would saturate problem areas of the city and stomp out crime.

"There will be a presence in the area 24-7 along with everything.  Housing codes. Dilapidated houses, weeds, speeding, drugs.  We're trying to rid the neighborhoods of all those," he explained.

Residents, glad their voices are heard, can't wait.

"[The criminals will] know. The police is out there all the time. We're not going to do this, we're not going to do that," said K.T. Carter of Montgomery.

It's an effort by the city to get involved and get input--be it at crime scenes or community centers.

"Try to work through these challenges in this neighborhoods and all the other neighborhoods in our community..over time, we'll be able to address those," said Mayor Todd Strange.

It's an effort residents say is paying off.

"I think all over the city, I think they've done a good job by going to these communities and having this type of meeting," Williams said.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.