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Residents complain of crime in streets



Published: Sun, May 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A councilman said addressing crime will take the combined efforts of police and residents.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

and DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Angel Loza just wants her children to be safe.

Nestled inside Trumbull Homes, a Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority development on the city's southeast side, Loza says her small children have had to try to sleep despite neighbors screeching and police sirens blaring.

"I walked to the store a few weeks ago with the father of my children and someone put a gun to his head," Loza said. "It's scary. I won't even walk at night anymore."

Her car was stolen a couple of weeks ago, and there was a shooting across the street last year.

"I'd like to move out of here, but to do that, the housing authority wants me to put a request in giving the reasons," Loza said. "I'm afraid if I do that and people find out I complained about them I'll get beat up.

"It's really bad in here," she said. "There's a lot of drugs."

Calls to police

Police department reports show that since January there have been 3,396 calls from the area that encompasses two TMHA neighborhoods, Trumbull Homes and Fairview Gardens, and a small portion of downtown Warren to Central Parkway.

There were 8,103 calls to the area all last year. Police Chief John Mandopoulos said he was hoping to reduce the number of calls in that area this year. The area is a mix of homes and smaller businesses.

He noted that the southeast section has had more calls than any other area in the city.

For example, the northwest section, which includes Scott and Porter streets and a portion of downtown, had 2,900 calls for the first five months of this year. That same area had a total of 7,386 calls all last year.

Police statistics show that 24 percent of the calls it has received this year came from the southeast side area .

Official reaction

Councilman Robert Holmes III, D-4th, said he hasn't received complaints from residents about increased crime. He thinks, however, it's necessary to get crime under control and not allow gangs to take over like in other cities.

"It's going to take a combined effort of the police and the people to do it," he said.

Mandopoulos said although complaints about serious crimes in the southeast area are few, there are several calls for other crimes.

"We have had a lot of crimes against property there," the chief said. "A lot of stolen cars, that type of thing."

Donald Emerson, executive director of TMHA, said he hasn't seen a lot of violent crime in the southeast area.

"It's not so bad," Emerson said. "I haven't seen anything extraordinary. We have told people that if they have problems to let us know. They don't have to put their names on the complaints, but they have to let us know so we can take care of it."

Fairview Gardens

Tammy Spradlin lives in Fairview Gardens but is hoping to move to another TMHA complex because of what she, like Loza, says is increasing crime.

"Someone stole my car a few weeks ago," Spradlin said, adding that she's waiting to get it out of an impound lot.

She's seen fights, and children have thrown rocks at her home. She and her boyfriend say they try to keep to themselves in an effort to avoid trouble.

Roland Battle, who's worked at Van and Carolla's Barber Shop for about three years, on the other hand, says he hasn't had any problems at the Niles Road business.

sinkovich@vindy.com dick@vindy.com




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