Jackson's Harwood Neighborhood Fighting Spike in Violence

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

A Jackson neighborhood is putting a crime-fighting plan into action this weekend, as a city council member hits the streets.

"Give people some tangible things that they can do to help, very simply, keep their community more safe," 6th Ward Councilor Derek Dobies said. "Whether it's calling 911 or binding together with neighbors."

Homeowners on Harwood say they're fed up with the violence. They saw gunfire last year, now public brawls with bricks and baseball bats.

"I think it's a symptom of creep, one house falls and other start to kind of domino," Dobies added. "So when we do have a problem it's important to bring the community together to address it and make sure we come to some sort of solution."

The neighborhood is on the police department's radar, but Dobies will be patroling too. He plans to walk the street Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in hopes the troublemakers who often flood it, will reconsider.

"When I started coming outside and looking at what was going on and seeing these generally young people fighting and pushing and shoving each other and getting more violent, then it became scary for me," Harwood homeowner Mary Beth Reilly said.

Still, those on the block say they love their street. They met with the Mayor and Police Chief Monday and came away encouraged. Then came another fight.

"It rocks your world a little bit," homeowner Brian Kelley said, in dismay. "I mean this neighborhood is an awesome neighborhood."

So, Harwood residents have decided to simply refuse the violence; to make it clear they're watching, they're home and like Dobies, ready to walk directly at their problems.

"I'm positive, I'm always a positive thinking kind of guy," Kelley said. "I think we'll make it."


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