GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WSAV) – Garden City leaders hosted a town hall meeting Monday to address the recent spike in crime. It comes after the city reported its fifth homicide since the start of the year.
Residents met at the Garden City Gym to hear about a 10-point plan and to voice some of their concerns.
The Garden City Homestead Association hosted the town hall meeting to present what they think can help make Garden City safer. The 10-point plan is a protect and serve initiative that would create ways to make the city safer by adding surveillance cameras, more police patrols, and even an idea of a gated community.
TEN POINT PLAN:
- Surveillance signs: Place signs at access points and intersections throughout neighborhoods.
- Surveillance monitors: Install 24-hour surveillance cameras at access points.
- Home security cameras: Encourage residents to install home cameras. The city could incentivize this by discounting utilities and certain fees.
- Gated community: Block off certain streets to central entrance and exit points using infrastructure that will create a 24 hour defense.
- Increase patrol units and police presence
- Community cop: Establish relationships between community and law enforcement to improve public safety relations.
- Organize neighborhood watch program
- Establish and promote an anonymous hotline
- Establish operation protect and serve: This would be a task force made up of elected officials and the community.
- Fasting and prayer: Implore residents to fast and pray who are spiritually inclined every Wednesday for 12 hours or 24 hours.
Residents News 3 spoke to say they agree with some of the points and others not so much. Donna Williams has lived in Garden City for 20 years and said she’s never seen the crime as bad as it’s been this year.
“I came here to really see a change and I’m excited. I’m excited to see that everyone is at the table,” Williams told News 3.
After the recent shooting death of a 17-year-old, community members feel it’s time to get to work and make Garden City feel like home again. Williams said she’d like to see more being done to help the younger generations.
“Right here in Garden city, they need work. Give them work, after school programs, educational after school programs, and things to do. That will help lower crime,” Williams said.
The Homestead Association has identified key points throughout the city’s communities where surveillance cameras and surveillance signs can go to deter crime. Community members say this is something they’ve wanted for years.
“The pluses are the surveillance. I think it’s needed, probably past due right? So the surveillance and the fact that’s already on the way is great,” Williams said.
Nakia Baxter said she’s on board with this as well since she lives in the Rosognill Hill area where more than 47 percent of the crime is happening.
“Our community has been going through a whole lot of things, a whole lot of gun violence, deaths and it’s a really small community. As a whole in order for us to prevent this crime and to get rid of this crime, we have to participate in these meetings,” Baxter said.
Parts of this plan are already being put into action. Garden City Chief of Police Gilbert Ballard said two surveillance cameras have been ordered so far and should be put up soon.