MPD community policing meeting

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Residents in about 16 subdivisions on the Westside say they are ready to take back their neighborhoods.

"People are concerned and they want to know what else the police can do to assist them," Montgomery resident Voncild Gregory said.

Residents voiced their concerns to police at this community meeting and say they're all dealing with similar issues. Some are already taking measures to reduce crime around their homes.

"If we see strangers in the neighborhood, we call each other and find out if you know this person, have you seen this person before, what are they doing here?" Gregory said.

What you didn't hear in this meeting were reports of violent or major crimes.

"We've had some of these neighborhoods have talked about gun shootings all night, people getting shot and it's a good thing when you come back later on and revisit and their only talking about theft or loud parties; that's showing that crime is going down in their communities," Lt. Tony Garrett said.

But some residents believe the reason we didn't hear about the big issues like drugs and gang violence is because a lot of people won't speak up.

"They are afraid to report crime. That's why I've been in the neighborhood for 43 years and I tell people to report it to me and I will tell the right source cause these hoodlums don't care who they target," Montgomery resident Thomas Calhoun, Jr. said.

But police emphasized the point that they are here to serve and protect residents.

Another issue that residents stressed was the need for more officers to actually get out of the patrol cars to talk to residents.

Police explained that sometimes police are not able to actually stop and get out because they are answering service calls, but Lt. Garret says officers should do what they can to establish relationships with residents.

The next state of precinct meeting will be at the east precinct. It will be held at Ridgecrest Baptist Church on Vaughn Road next Wednesday morning at 11:30.

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