Updated 08/08/2012 06:45 AM
Troy neighbors fight crime in light of recent shootings
It's that time of year when communities come together in a nationwide effort to crack down on crime and drugs. One Troy neighborhood knows that fight well, as residents have witnessed a series of shootings in the past year. Innae Park heard from them at National Night Out.
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TROY, N.Y. -- It looked like an ordinary get-together, a block party, but on National Night Out, the Hillside North, or North Central community in Troy, has a strong message.
“Let's stop the violence right now,” said resident James Mayben.
Unfortunately, this neighborhood has one too many reminders of violence, with a number of shootings occurring in the area over the past six months. Among them, the death of 17-year-old Phillip McMillian on 9th Street in March. That type of tragedy became all too familiar.
“We've actually had a shooting on each one of our streets this year,” said Kim Mazor, a member of the Hillside North Neighborhood Group. She added optimistically, “It's definitely calmed down now. I think they've realized, we're talking to the cops!”
That's one of the neighborhood group's goals: to keep the communication and comfort with law enforcement constant. It starts early with exposing children to their local officers.
Mayben said, “[This] gives them a different perspective, so when they grow up, they get the inventive to become a police officer, firefighter, a sheriff or work in the jails instead of being behind the bars.”
But the adults are being called on to take responsibility, too.
Mazor said, “We wanted our neighbors to get to know each other. That way you're noticing people that don't belong up here.”
When speaking of the recent crimes, Mayben said, “It's not coming from people within the community, but it's happening in our neighborhoods. So there's got to be some type of social change for where they're hanging out.”
Despite a rough year of violence, the neighborhood is ready to see and be that change.
Councilman Mark McGrath said, “That's such a small percentage of what really happens in these neighborhoods. It's important to showcase all the good here.”