Crime crack down on Coalter Street | News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Police are using a new way to fight crime in one of Richmond's toughest neighborhoods.
Richmond Police kicked off this new effort on Coalter Street near Mosby Court Thursday.
The center is basically a police substation. RPD and private officers put themselves in the middle of a high-crime area to crackdown on the bad guys.
Life on Coalter Street is anything but easy for Lalisia Gregory-Harris.
"I do get scared," she told us.
Her home at Oliver Crossing Apartments is in the heart of one of the city's toughest neighborhoods.
"When you hear the gunshots or you're walking from the store and somebody got shot," she described some of the scary moments she's experienced.
She's surrounded by housing projects and the crime that often goes along with them.
"Like I woke up on my birthday last year to walk my daughter to her bus stop and somebody had gotten killed and we had security out here at the time," Gregory-Harris recalled.
Now, she's hoping that will change with the grand opening of the law enforcement center, which is a place where both on and off-duty officers will patrol, residents can file complaints and deal with community issues.
The intersection in front of the apartment complex is notorious for shootings, drug deals, robberies and fights. With the new law enforcement center police have a bird's eye view of the action.
"We'll know what's going on the property," explained Sector Lt. Ronnie Armstead. "They'll know what's going on in the streets. It also offers a safe place in this community."
Police will be working hand-in-hand with the on-site private security team.
"They're meant to patrol just the four corners of the property," explained Gilbert Winn of Winn Companies. "We really need interaction with the city police officers. The fact that we have an on-site law enforcement center will allow them to affect change inside and outside."
Lalisia said that partnership should now extend to the residents there, as well.
"It's not just up to them," she maintained. "It has to be with the residents that live out here also. If you want to live in a better place and you want something better for your kids then you'll join in."
Complex management said now is the perfect time to revitalize the area, as city leaders consider major changes to the surrounding housing projects.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
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