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|South Monroe residents complain about youth safety, vandalism|
Two south Monroe residents say action needs to be taken to stop youth from playing in streets and vandalizing property.
Wayne Hackney and Peggy Jones live on Ethan Street in south Monroe. They say youth are causing problems in their neighborhood. They also say the Monroe Police Department has done little to address their concerns.
Hackney and Jones recently spoke at a Monroe City Council meeting about this issue.
Hackney also said dogs are causing problems in south Monroe as owners let them roam freely when animal control officers are off duty.
"After 3:30 p.m. you'll see the dogs, and you can call for help, but you won't get any because the animal control officer is off duty," Hackney said. "That's one thing. One other problem is we have kids playing in the streets, playing basketball or football. One of them is going to get killed. They all get in the street and automobiles have to stop before they get out of the street."
However, Hackney said the biggest problem is youth vandalizing neighborhoods in south Monroe.
Hackney says he has called police on numerous occasions, but no action has been taken to stop the activity. Hackney said a Monroe Police Department captain promised him there would be extra patrols in his neighborhood, but Hackney has not seen it.
"The only extra patrol we see down there is when we call the police to come investigate something," Hackney explained. "And I was informed that when they come and investigate, they don't make reports on everything they investigate."
"My question is: if you don't make a report, and something happens three or four weeks down the road, how can I prove it happened before if there is no report on file?" he said.
Hackney and Jones say neighborhood youth have destroyed their mailboxes and thrown rocks at both of their windows late at night.
Police told Hackney that because he did not see the vandals, there wasn't anything they could do to help him. He questioned why officers did not perform some kind of investigation.
"I told them, 'I know who did it,'" Hackney continued. "But the officer said, 'If you didn't see it, I can't go talk to them.' What kind of police department do we have? If someone gets shot, nine times out of 10 no one will see it. But if someone goes to the police department and tells them they know who did it, what do they do? They go and investigate. What kept them from going and investigating these kids?"
"I am getting tired of something happening around my house, calling the police department, and instead of them going and doing something, they turn around and treat me like white trash," he added.
Jones says she has had similar problems with the Monroe Police Department. She said on several occasions she has been treated disrespectfully by police officers.
"They did not come to my rescue on my case," Jones said. "Mr. Hackney and myself have been humiliated by the Monroe Police Department. I've been in this town all my life, and I'm fed up. There's nothing wrong with the south side; it just needs more help from Monroe police officers. I'm not happy, and I will continue to complain until someone sees my need."
Hackney and Jones addressed the city council during its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 26. The council adjourned the meeting without discussing the matter.
Monroe police officials were unavailable for comment.