Neighbors hope to save Edgewood

7:50 AM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- In the last 15 months, 718 police calls were made to the area of Edgewood Court in Atlanta's Edgewood neighborhood before one arrest caught the public's attention.

For a community in crisis, call no. 719 was only a matter of time, just like 720, 721, 722 and all the numbers to come.

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner broke down the numbers.

"222 of those calls were fight calls," Turner said. "Four (were) persons shot calls, four persons were stabbed, 18 persons injured calls, three drug calls, seven robbery calls and 64 shots fired calls."

The list goes on and on, but incidents like last week's violent arrest have not helped the often tense relationship between residents and the police, especially when that anger culminates with bricks being thrown at patrol cars.

But many in the neighborhood don't just blame APD. After all, there's a reason the complex's playground is often empty.

Neighbors say teenage thugs who don't live in the area have taken over. Parents don't want their kids to be the next number at Edgewood Court.

Earl Peek has lived across from the area since the 80's.

"It should take some attention of the city to get over here and not just look at crime, but to look at the surrounding areas and say, how do we make this community better, which means redevelopment," he said.

It's proof of how much he believes in the community -- and the power of change.

"There's a responsibility of residents also if there's a crime -- you don't cover it up, you have to report it, and I think that the police have to look at them not as enemies but as a part of the community, because we all have to police the community," Peek said. "So I think an integrated approach would be very helpful."

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