Many concerned with increase in Avondale violence - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Citizens concerned with Avondale violence

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) -

The recent uptick in violence in Avondale has many wondering if their neighborhood is becoming the new Over-The-Rhine.

Like many neighborhoods suffering from unemployment and poverty, Avondale's problems can't be laid totally at the feet of police. Many people FOX19 talked to say the residents themselves need to take ownership of the problems. They would also like to see the development of small businesses like Stag's barber shop which keeps people employed.

"Big corporations and small corporations because with that means jobs in the community," owner De'Angelo Boynton says. "With jobs the crime rate goes down."

Avondale resident Veronica Nash thinks crime is among Avondale's biggest problems.

"All of our people are getting killed," explains Nash. "Our little ones are getting shot, our older ones are being taken advantage of. We're all being robbed."

Vincent Brandy says kids in Avondale aren't safe. "They start shooting and innocent bystanders get shot like the little girl."

FOX19 asked city leaders if Avondale is being neglected because of all the attention on downtown and Over The Rhine. City Councilman Wendell Young says Avondale is not being abandoned.

"I don't believe that to be the case at all," explains young. "I think what we've got is what we continue to wrestle with and that is that we have individuals who could care less about the safety of others."

Councilman Christopher Smitherman says City Hall could be doing more.

"Avondale is a very big footprint and there are citizens that have been living there through violence and mayhem for so long while city council's public policy has largely abandoned them," says Smitherman. 

There are plenty of ideas on what Avondale needs to improve. Ozie Davis, Executive Director of the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation says the neighborhood needs investment.

"I would like to see the city be able to leverage some of the corporate community support like what's been done with the Banks and Fountain Square and with Over the Rhine," says Davis.

Councilman Chris Seelbach the initiatives which developed Over-the-Rhine could work in Avondale. "The solution to Avondale's crime problem and there does seem to be a spike is that we help develop the neighborhood so that people can open businesses and property values increase and as a result there will be less crime."

There may be no easy solution to the problems facing Avondale, but feel a good start would be public and private investment in this community.

Over the past few days, Disrtict 4 police have been busy in Avonale. Officers are still investigating after a man was found shot in his car Wednesday night and after a three-year-old was shot last week

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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