Neighbors Hope 'Night Out' Marks A Turning Point

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

There's no shortage of kids out having fun at Caesar Donora Park in Lansing on a Tuesday evening.

Neighbors say there's also no shortage of problems.

"There's drug trafficking, prostitution. There's speeding. All kinds of stuff going on," six-year resident Joan Kelley told News 10.

"If they would just go down through and cite the houses you know that have trash all over, or patrol the streets more often. You know to get the drug trafficking down," she said.

Other neighbors who've lived in the area longer but didn't want their names used say they've been complaining about the same things for five or six years -- and nothing gets done about it.

We put their concerns to the mayor and the chief of police.

"A few more patrols or just speed bumps alone, that's not going to put it over the edge," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said Tuesday.

What will? More involvement from neighbors, the mayor says. Neighbors say they're trying -- but they fear retribution.

"We do take in confidence what people tell us," Lansing Police Chief Mark Alley said.

"It does take courage sometimes. I'm asking the neighbors. The mayor, the police chief -- we can't do it for you, we can do it with you," Bernero said.

That said, the mayor says it may be time for the city to step up in some areas.

"You may need a higher level of police presence intially, and we're prepared to do that," Bernero said.

On this National Night Out, there are some who say progress is being made. Neighbors are coming together. The community center is hosting positive events like youth basketball.

Kelley says she doesn't see the neighborhood turning the corner quite yet. But she's willing to stick it out rather than move elsewhere.

"This street, everybody's friendly. Everybody gets along. It's just a few houses that need to be cleaned up and it'd be a nice neighborhood for everybody."


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