Crime down in one Fayetteville neighborhood


The drop has a lot to do with how residents are looking out for each other.

Just a few years ago, John Johnson says he didn't feel comfortable walking down the street.

"You heard gunshots all the time, even close to your backyard, near your door, it was horrendous," Johnson said.

Along streets where drug dealers and hookers used to walk, residents say these days Massey Hill is a good place to live and grow up.

Stella Mullen says residents' attitudes are behind the big change.

"We are letting people know we have a standard here, you know, we want people to behave when they are in the neighborhood not involved in illegal activities," said Mullen, who is the community watch leader.

At a community crime fighting meeting held Wednesday night, Police Chief Tom Bergamine told residents street crime in Massey Hill is down nearly 30 percent. Bergamine says that's due to cooperation and commitment.

"It's about the community policing initiatives and working together, so that helps out quite a bit," the Chief said.

The neighborhood is certainly not crime free. Residents say there are still small pockets of trouble, and they say making their community crime free is not something that's done overnight.

In fact, in 2007 police and residents started cracking down on crime in the community with police making neighborhood sweeps.

Mullen says the residents' battle isn't over.

"It's really like a full-time job," Mullen explained. "We are really patrolling. That's the big key to it keeping our eyes open being aware of what's going, getting interested and being nosey neighbors."

It's a street fight many other neighborhoods across the state and around the county may have given up on. But in Massey Hill, residents like Johnson say it's a work in progress.

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