Tuesday Feb. 23, 2016
It's been about a year since Elkhart police beefed up their presence in Washington Gardens, aiming to fend off violence in the housing complex. The heightened policing doesn't sit so well with Rico King, who was smoking a cigarillo ousted a friend's unit. "They'll see you with a group of your friends and they'll stop you and harass you." Others, though, say it's paid off, kept large unruly groups from congregating, causing problems. "They don't just let them stand and congregate on the corner anymore. They make them move along," said Cassie Stewart. Stay tuned for more…
I dug into Elkhart Police Department reports on activity in Washington Gardens, getting a clearer sense of what it is officers encounter when the patrol the low-income housing development.
Among the regular issues — loitering teens, loud music, dice games and pot smokers, in no particular order.
The reports, actually “supplemental activity forms,” were filed for each day of patrolling in Washington Gardens late last year funded by the Elkhart Housing Authority. Police have never agreed to a full-fledged ride-along there, but the reports, obtained by The Elkhart Truth, offered up a sense of what it is they do and find there.
Coming about a year after then-Mayor Dick Moore ordered beefed up policing in Washington Gardens in response to a shooting, the timing also gave us a chance to look back at the stepped-up effort, a year later. The two stories, last Sunday’s main print package, also served as a follow up to our series “Down But Not Out: Life in south-central Elkhart.”
Here are links to the stories:
- Elkhart’s Washington Gardens safer, more secure a year after push for beefed-up policing, Feb. 22, 2016
- Elkhart police in Washington Gardens contend with loitering, loud music, marijuana smokers, dice games, Feb. 22, 2016