COLUMBUS, Ga. ( WRBL)- Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon held a Neighborhood Community meeting at the Columbus Marriott.
Citizens expressed their concerns and thoughts about the community. Issues such as hot spots, violence at business, shootings and homelessness were brought up. Blackmon ensured the community that all of their concerns were heard and CPD will take a look into them. Blackmon expressed to the community how to report crimes or concerns they may have to 911.
Many citizens expressed their concerns about homelessness within the city. One citizen told Blackmon he understands they have nowhere to go but something must be done.
Citizens also asked Blackmon if an ordinance could be put in place pertaining to loud music and violence within local businesses. One lady asked Blackmon if a three strikes and your out ordinance could be put in place to shut a business down if they have more than three offenses of violence. Blackmon told the individual that a business could only be shut down if the violence was reoccurring or if an ordinance was put in place with those specific details.
Blackmon wanted citizens to be aware of the crime hotspots in town. Such as 5th Street and 1 Ave between 8th and 9th. One citizen brought a concern to Blackmon’s attention as to how they reach those that don’t trust the police as much. Blackmon responded to citizen by telling them that officers have beats through town that they ride through to reach those in the community and to try and build trust. He also said it would take a while to build that trust within certain parts of the community.
Blackmon told News 3 he wanted citizens to feel like their voices were being heard.
“To meet with our community members and engage and listen to their concerns. Being able to communicate the law enforcement perspective as to why decisions are made from the law enforcement perspective. So we want all our citizens to know that we want them to engage with law enforcement and we want our officers to talk to our citizens, “ Blackmon said.
The citizens in the room wanted to thank Blackmon and CPD for all of their hard work. Blackmon wants the community to report and crimes and non-emergency crimes to 911.
“We want our citizens to always feel safe and know that we always take crime very seriously at the Columbus Police Department. In doing so we’re going to maintain a very strong visibility throughout Columbus and the various neighborhoods throughout Columbus,” Blackmon said.