Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Blank Stares to Handshakes as Glynn Neighborhood Improves; ARCO Residents Work with County Officials to Fight Crime and Blight

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Blank Stares to Handshakes as Glynn Neighborhood Improves; ARCO Residents Work with County Officials to Fight Crime and Blight

Article excerpt

Byline: CAROLE HAWKINS

BRUNSWICK - Glynn County officials and enforcement officers drove in a caravan and got warm greetings and smiles Wednesday from residents of the Arco community. It was a far cry from the stares they had received just a few months earlier, officials said.

"The whole attitude of people in this community has changed," said County Commissioner Howard Lynn, whose district includes Arco, a community originally built as housing for a long-closed refinery.

Arco Clean Sweep, a take-back-the-neighborhood initiative that involved county agencies, community leaders and residents, has made the difference in the past three months, one resident said.

"It's wonderful. The yards have all been cleaned up. It's like a whole new place," said Jackie Jackson.

Across the street from Jackson's house, an abandoned mobile home, with insulation hemorrhaging from its walls and its windows broken, is slated for removal. Crack cocaine, garbage, overgrown vegetation, and abandoned vehicles, previously a common sight in the community, are now the exception, she said.

As a matter of routine, police patrol streets, firefighters screen neighborhoods for dilapidated and abandoned housing and code enforcement officers issue citations for trash and junk vehicles cluttering yards.

All those activities are typical, but this time the efforts were stepped up and coordinated between agencies to happen all at once, said County Police Chief Matt Doering. County police alone increased their patrols in Arco by 66 percent, he said.

"We see a likely correlation to reduced crime because of our efforts," he said. "It shows we can make a difference and we have."

Doering said burglaries dropped to nine over the course of the three-month initiative, compared with 18 in the three months prior. At the same time, assaults dropped from 15 to three and robberies from four to two. Only thefts and drug citations increased, but only slightly.

At the same time county police increased their presence in Arco, Code Enforcement Manager Mickey Milton swept through every yard and issued citations for clean community violations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.