LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Lansing Police continue to investigate the city’s first homicide of 2016 after a 25 year-old Lansing man, named Terrance Lewis, was found dead inside the South Washington Park Apartments early Tuesday morning.
Lansing City Council Member Adam Hussain says the crime and violence in the apartment complex has been an issue for years and he’s stepping up efforts to put an end to it.
Lansing police say the amount of service calls to that apartment complex has dropped by 35 percent over the last couple of years.
From Feb. 9th 2015 through Feb. 8th 2016, there were a total of 257 service calls.
Back in 2012, that number was 394.
But Adam Hussain says it goes beyond the numbers and hearing about the homicide this morning was just the tip of the ice berg.
“I was angry,” Hussain said. “To be quite honest, that’s how I’ve explained it. I was very angry.”
Hussain is speaking out about this morning’s homicide at the South Washington Square Apartment complex on Lansing’s south side.
He says he’s been concerned about this complex for about a month now after hearing from residents and then seeing it firsthand.
“I gained entry through the security door that was supposed to be locked, I just kind of tugged lightly, I was right in. What I did, was I marched all five floors, I walked the stairwells, I looked in the trash shoot rooms,” he said.
Hussain says he found trash in hallways, urine soaked napkins in stairwells, and aggressive crowds having mid-day parties.
Since then, he’s been advocating for change.
“The issue is that we have for a number of years, heard that there is crime at this particular complex, that there have been stabbings and robberies and drug transactions on a daily basis,” Hussain said.
According to Lansing Police, from Feb. 9th 2015 through Feb. 8th 2016, there were a total of 257 calls for service at the apartment complex.
In 2012, that number was 394.
The top three calls for service were for fights, unwanted guests, and assaults.
When compared to the most recent numbers, service calls have gone down by 35 percent over the past couple of years.
As far as crime related incidents go, from February 9th 2015 to February 8th 2016, there were 64 crime reports at the apartment complex.
The top three reports include assault, larceny and breaking and entering.
However that number is actually down 36 percent from the more than 100 reported crimes in 2012.
Despite the drop in numbers, Hussain says the residents tell a different story.
“Everything is data driven right now in the way we police,” he said. “And one of my concerns is that when I talked to residents there, many of them cited fear that they refuse to call the police because they’re in fear of retaliation. We know that there’s an issue, we have to get serious about addressing that issue, we need on-site security plans. I think we need a night time and weekend presence by management.”
Shortly after news of the homicide spread, Tony Baltimore, Chairman of the Lansing Housing Board of Commissioners, released this statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out the victims associated with the shooting at 3200 S. Washington Park. We, the Lansing Housing Commission, are cooperating with the Lansing Police Department during their investigation. We also ask anyone who knows anything about the incident to come forward. We take the safety and security of all residents at all of our properties seriously and will work with LPD to ensure their safety. Grief counselors will be available for any residents to help deal with this incident. “
LPD is working closely with the Lansing Housing Commission to continue safety efforts at the complex.
A Lansing Police Sergeant has been assigned to the complex as a liaison between law enforcement and the housing commission.
This spring, Lansing Police say they’ll be redeploying a community policing officer.
The next public safety committee meeting will be on March 11th at Lansing City Hall.