JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – The problem of crime and blight is again rearing its ugly head in a west Jackson neighborhood.
Residents took their concerns of slow 911 response and need for more patrols to police in hopes of reclaiming their neighborhood.
People living in the Dalton Deer Park neighborhood say open abandoned houses, overgrown lots and the crime they bring are again beginning to plague the area.
Community association president Hezekiah Watkins said residents in the area, many elderly, have contacted him about a recent resurgence of drug sales and prostitution at the vacant houses.
"We want to try and get a hold on it now before it gets out of hand. We were able to reclaim this community some time ago and we feel as though we did a pretty good job, and we don't want to go back to where we were," said Watkins.
Tuesday night residents gathered for a community meeting to share their concerns with Jackson police, fire and code enforcement.
Older residents and some living on nearby Central Street complained of harassment from groups of teenagers and even their parents.
Many fear retaliation for sharing their concerns.
"My house was egged three times. They threw at my car.Thank God they missed and the person who is responsible, we know whose responsible," said Georgia Cohran who lives nearby.
Police officers were told there was slow and sometimes no response from 911 calls and a need for more patrols.
J.P.D.'s command staff took questions, offered solutions and told residents to help them by following through by making reports.
Police told those gathered that investigations were already underway in the area.
"Their concerns are not falling on deaf ears. We do hear what they're saying, and we're responding to their call. We are doing this by dealing with the problems they have mentioned here tonight," said Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman.
Residents met the new head of their precinct Commander Jeremiah Jones and plan to work with officers to fight the recent resurgence of crime.
Assistant Chief Lee Vance asked residents to help code enforcement find and hold negligent property owners responsible for demolishing the blight and restoring their community.
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