LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Some of the residents who came out Monday night said there have been small improvements made to the apartment complex when it comes to security and maintenance.
Most notably, the impact of what an on-site Lansing Community Patrol Officer, Trevor Arnold, has done for residents to ensure their safety.
But with all of the positive, residents and city leaders say there is still a lot of work to be done and Monday night’s meeting was another step in the process to make sure that happens.
“Now I’m seeing some positive changes,” South Washington Park resident, Tia Page said.
Both Page and Amy Fountain call South Washington Park Apartments, home.
A place where there’s been a homicide, shootings, and feces found in stairwells.
It’s also a place city officials have had on their radar for years and Tuesday night, during the Committee on Public Safety meeting, the public weighed in on what has been done to improve a growing number of issues.
“I think the biggest improvement has been the implementation of a community policing officer,” Amy Fountain said. “He’s actually come in, chased the bad people out, arrested quite a few people; he’s stopped a lot of the outdoor drinking and partying.”
“Officer Arnold has been a huge success to South Washington Park,” Tia Page said. “When I got there in March, I was scared to get out of my vehicle, the shooting had just taken place and that was all anyone was talking about..with him there, he’s not only trafficking around but he communicates with us.”
Many say the biggest challenges they face are safety and communication.
Issues including addressing bugs, to installing dead-locks to apartment doors still need to be looked at.
“Working on the windows, the security door, they mentioned that they would try to find a way to make it more secure, that will stop people from even coming into just the lobby,” Page said.
Issues city officials took note of, including those from the Lansing Housing Commission.
Executive Director of the Lansing Housing Commission, Patricia Baines-Lake, and Chair of the Lansing Housing Commissioner’s Board, Tony Baltimore, were in attendance to listen to what the residents had to say.
“The most important thing that happened today and it’s a movement that started several months ago, is that the residents at South Washington own the building, it is their home,” Baines-Lake said. “Their interested in finding lasting solutions and like them, the Lansing Housing Commission is interested in making sure that they’re lasting solutions so that we don’t fall back to go forward.”
Baines-Lake said the LHC is working on staying on top of the issues that have been communicated to the commission.
Residents said they don’t want any fallback either. They want commitment from community leaders.
A commitment At-Large Lansing City Council Member Carol Wood said the residents here, will get.
“I think the important thing is for the Lansing Housing Commission to know our eyes are still on them; We’re still looking, we’re still watching, we’re still asking for accountability,” Wood said.
“We might not appoint them, this may be a mayoral appointment, but this council wants to make sure that the residents of that building feel safe, have secure place to live and that they have a cleanly place to be at. No one should live under those threats; no one should be that afraid to leave their apartment, no one should have to deal with some of the uncleanly issues that they’ve had at this complex.”
People who live at South Washington Park apartments have also formed a resident council to help with communication between city officials and residents. They will have a final vote for who is part of that council, on Sept. 29, 2016.
Residents are also working on a newsletter for the complex, to help keep everyone in the loop about things happening there.