Liberty City Square residents fearful in their own homes

caines | 4/4/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Cameras, cops and closures

Patricia Edwards, a lifelong resident and single mother, attended the meeting because she says shes tired of outsiders coming into Liberty Square, doing their dirt and then going back to their own homes. They say the cameras are working but I dont believe it, she said. If they did it seems like the police would be able to catch the troublemakers. I think more police need to be assigned here too because we can only do so much. These young people dont listen to adults like we did when we were growing up. If they want to be animals and fight they should go to Iraq or someplace like that go fight a real war. Some community activist groups, like Brothers of the Same Mind, have added their own manpower to the LSRC, walking the streets, talking to young adults and most of all listening to the concerns of the residents. When you have so many people without jobs, what do you think will happen? said Brian Dennis, CEO and president. Its time that both the city and county commissioners for this district sit down and come up with a real plan. There are a few more officers walking the beat here and I think thats due to Commissioner Spence-Jones. But a lot of times, things move way too slowly because of red tape. Meanwhile, you have folks in the game who come here, make their money and run. Its mostly innocent people that are getting caught in the crossfire. Greg Fortner, executive director for M-D Public Housing and Community Development, agrees that better communication is needed from all sides. Liberty Square crosses two jurisdictions the County owns the land but its in the City so before any action is taken it requires a lot of dotting the is and crossing the ts, he said. Often when the residents have complaints they try to get the City involved instead of coming to us first. And then theres quite a bit of false information being spread. For example, all of the cameras work and have been for some time. One tangible solution would be to close some of the entrances which we tried to do several years ago. The Council supports that option but again, we also must work with public transportation, the fire department, the police and other departments. We had speed bumps installed as a safety measure and then had to lower them because certain service vehicles were having difficulty maneuvering. We have 760 units thats several thousand people. We have to resolve the disconnect that currently exists between them and the police. The residents have to believe that the police are part of their community. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com