Jackson Neighborhood Standing Up Against Growing Violence

By: Hannah Saunders Email
By: Hannah Saunders Email

"I heard somebody say, let's get this over with before the cops come," said 12-year-old CJ Vaughn. The scariest part of the fight he saw last week on Harwood Street, was when a couple dozen teens started using more than just their fists.

"One lady got a stick and somebody booted her, threw her down, and started beating her with the stick."

But it was the fight in front of the house where Amy Bleiler has lived with her family for 13 years, where the cement blocks came out: "This last fight, a young man ended up needing to have medical attention because of a concussion," said Bleiler.

Jackson Police Lieutenant Elmer Hitt appreciates the neighbors giving them a heads up before these teens move from using sticks and stones, to guns and knives.

"Any time people are willing to take a stance for their neighborhood, it's something we welcome, and really makes our jobs easier," said Hitt.

Without 19 out of 24 of the houses in the neighborhood reporting the problems together, police may have never known how bad the violence had become.

Now, with the added support from police, Bleiler will lead the new neighborhood task force: "This is the type of neighborhood where we all look out for each other, and we're here to make it better, like it was."

Police have already stepped up patrols on Harwood Street.

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