Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Public housing complex helps fight crime in Charlotte

By meerna Jul11,2024
Public housing complex helps fight crime in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is putting a premium on preventing juvenile delinquency, which data shows is on the rise, and one affordable housing complex is helping to lower crime rates in the community.

Over the past few months, CMPD has announced a new initiative to combat juvenile delinquency, called JADE. Officers say they have made more than 3,000 juvenile arrests in 2023, a 34% increase from the previous year. More than 100 juveniles were suspects in shooting investigations, a 33% increase.

“We’re not doing this alone, the residents who live here know what’s going on and they know who’s causing trouble. So they needed a safe space to be able to share what’s going on. We created a ‘see something, say something’ program that offers a financial reward so they can tell us what’s going on because they know better than anyone else,” said Inlivian representative Cheron Porter.

Porter said that at one point, the Little Rock Apartments in Charlotte were considered an unsafe neighborhood with several problems, including a lack of staffing.

“We took over the property in November 2022, and when we arrived there was only one staff member, no maintenance staff, and rent had not been collected in almost two years,” Porter said.

The second major concern was the rising crime rate in the complex, which they said was due to a lack of supervision.

“We’re not police, we can’t stop crime, but we can certainly help solve it. Again, we don’t do this alone, we do this with partners and the key to that, yes, was making sure the cameras were working,” Porter said.

Cameras were only part of the solution, Porter said. It also required more streetlights, Charlotte police patrols and trimming hedges to avoid hiding places for unwanted activity.

“We had a 56% reduction in violent crime here, which is amazing. And they say, (to) be honest with you, it’s tough because no one should live in that environment and we don’t want our residents to live in that environment at all,” Porter said.

Posters with slogans such as “stop the killing,” “stop the violence,” and “be the change” hang on street signs in the area, while the words “RIP” are written on sidewalks.

“This message is about accountability. If you want to see change, you have to be able to open your mouth and let us know what’s going on,” Porter said. “We are the change, they are the change, and that has changed this community quite a bit.”

Porter said that with the start of summer, the area also hosts programs for teens to encourage them to be physically active and avoid behaviors that could lead to misbehavior.

By meerna

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