“Unfortunately, I think the locals have become immune,” said ONE Village Council Chairman Alfonso Narvaez.
TOLEDO, Ohio — Residents of north Toledo are ringing bells after their neighborhood became the scene of the first homicide of this year.
Neighbors say they are frustrated with crime in their community.
Leaders with the Lagrange Block Watch and A Village Council say they need people to report what they see and they can’t be afraid to speak up anymore.
It’s because they think whoever isn’t part of the solution is part of the problem.
“[It’s] disappointing. But unfortunately, I think the inhabitants have become immune to it,” said Alfonso Narvaez, president of the A Village Councilthat gives a voice to the voiceless.
“What a shame for someone to lose their life for nothing. I’m considering losing a life, no one in the neighborhood who doesn’t think of God,” said Annie Walker, a 42-year-old North Toledo resident.
Witnesses say someone pulled up next to 58-year-old Ray Gott’s van and started shooting.
Toledo police found Gott dead at the intersection of Detroit and Phillips avenues late Saturday night.
It is an area that the TPD first targeted earlier this year due to its high crime rate.
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“We want to be proactive in our policing, using our data-driven policing to help us pinpoint where crimes – especially shootings, criminal assaults and homicides – are happening, so we can deploy our active in an efficient manner,” said TPD Lt. Paul. Davis said.
People living nearby noticed a greater police presence during their LASER initiative. But they say it has since declined.
“It’s the police presence. It scared them a little but not a lot,” Walker said. “It scared the older ones, but not the younger ones. The younger ones aren’t afraid.”
Narvaez says the program should only be a first step.
“More police presence. But also, more community service officers on the ground talking to neighborhood residents, engaging with residents,” Narvaez said, “because that’s what it comes down to. This is how we will continue to improve our neighborhood.”
He and Walker believe it will take not only Toledo police, but also the involvement of their community to move in the right direction.
It is a battle against the crime epidemic and poverty in the region.
“The first meeting was to let us know that we need to have a leadership presence in the neighborhood. We need young leaders as well as older ones here,” Walker said.
They want to keep the momentum going to keep North Toledo safe.
ONE Village Council plans to hold another meeting on February 24.
They invite the police of Toledo as well as their district councilor to speak with the inhabitants.
All members of the community are invited to join the discussion at Zablocki Elderly Center at 18 hours