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Making a Night Out stand near 96th and Hosmer

Post by Kathleen Merryman / The News Tribune on Aug. 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm with No Comments »
August 4, 2009 6:19 pm

Residents at the Waverly Farms and Villas and Cherry Creek Apartments are through complaining about the gang-bangers who’ve been messing with what should be a safe and pleasant summer.

With the help of Safe Streets’ Darren Pen, they’ve organized.

Tonight, they’re inaugurating the push with their first National Night Out.

Their complexes are among several east of Interstate 5 and north of South 96th Street, and they have a unique problem. Though most of their neighborhood is in Tacoma, they also have an orphan slice of Lakewood, across the freeway from the rest of the city.

Their management is responsible, responsive and tight with the police, but that’s not the case in all the complexes. Some allow gang members to live and do business in the neighborhood.

Residents have had armed thugs bust into their apartments. They’ve had taggers dueling with spray-paint on their fences. And you don’t want to know what’s been going on in the greenbelt.

Now that they’ve organized, Tacoma Police Community Liaison Officer Dan Hensley is looking into their complaints of slow police response. He’s given them resource lists of all the numbers to call, and coached them on how best to report a crime.

Jim Borah of the Neighborhood Councils is helping them with information on how to get traffic circles and speed bumps.

The core group invited the neighbors, including residents of the Woodmark Apartments, or a Safe Streets meeting two weeks ago.

"This whole neighborhood is so unsavory, it’s just pathetic," said a Woodmark resident. "We had a shoot-out up here today at 3 p.m."

They had another last Thursday.

This National Night Out Party is serious business. Lives depend on it.

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