Neighbors in Alexander’s Village near Abrams and Walnut Hill say they’ve seen a steady increase in crime and gun fire near their homes over the past two years. The problem, they say, is people congregating after hours in the White Rock Greenbelt surrounding the Fair Oaks Tennis Center. As the hour gets later and darkness falls, carloads of folks assemble with mischief on their minds.
That’s when the guns come out.
Ashlee Ehman and her friends in the neighborhood tried everything they could think of to address the problem. They called police. They hosted meetings with city officials. They contacted local television reporters.
“We were getting beaten down with ‘no’s,’ but we kept pushing through,” Ehman says.
A few weeks ago, new neighborhood police officers were assigned to their area, and Ehman’s group showed up expecting the same old, same old.
“We begrudgingly attended knowing we were going to get continued lip service with the inability to break through the red tape. But this time, we were given the best.”
Officer Sammie Robinson, Officer Danny Vasquez and Lt. Miranda Hight “really listened to us, heard us and were immediately proactive,” Ehman says. Gates will be installed to close off the tennis center parking lot at night, along with security cameras and additional police patrols.
The neighborhood dropped by the northeast station at Audelia and Northwest Highway last weekend to deliver goodies and sincere thanks, and their children enjoyed a “really cool” tour of the station house for their trouble.
“They literally saved a life with their hard work and dedication to us,” Ehman says.