Brundidge residents share concerns about crime

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2019

There was standing room only at the Tuesday meeting of the Brundidge City Council as residents came to express their concerns about the escalating crime rate in their hometown. The collective plea to the mayor and council was “Please help us!”

Michael Green, a resident of Hinwal Circle expressed his concerns about gunshots that have been fired recently in Districts 4 and 5 and his concern for the downward direction that Brundidge appears to be heading.

Green was on the city council agenda and spoke for the gathering of residents of the Hinwal Circle and S.A. Graham Boulevard.

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Green said the firing of gunshots, from the ground and from a vehicle, in the Hinwal Drive/Circle area has been reported to the Brundidge Police Department along with other concerns about disruptive behavior that residents have witnessed in both districts of the city.

“Yet nothing has been done to curb this kind of activity,” said Green, a 25-year resident of Brundidge.

Green expressed great concern that the city of Brundidge is in peril and the future outlook for the city is bleak.

Members of the audience echoed Green’s concerns and about other disruptive activities that have been observed and reported to the city’s police department but continue. Incidents cited were the syphoning of gas from vehicles, physical altercations, the use of vulgar language, the brandishing of guns, objects being hurled at passing vehicles and single family dwellings that house large numbers of unrelated occupants.

Often such incidents originate from Section 8 properties, those in attendance said.

The council was questioned as to the regulations and restrictions that apply to Section 8 housing and what can be done when violations occur. The response was that of uncertainty.

Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport responded to questions and said, in order for the police to make an arrest, there has to be evidence that a crime has been committed.

“As for the shooting incidents on Hinwal, we know shots were fired but we don’t have any information that would allow us to make an arrest,” Davenport said. “There were witnesses but they could not even agree on the color of the vehicle.”

Davenport asked the residents to assist the police department by providing concrete data that would allow his officers to make an arrest.

“We need those who would be willing to come forward with a video of some illegal activity or a tag number or just be willing to go to court and be a witness to the crime,” he said.

Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd said the disturbances that are occurring in Brundidge are of great concern to her.

“We want the best for our citizens and our town,” Boyd said. “No one should be fearful in their own home and they should not be exposed to the behavior that is being exhibited outside of their homes. We will do what we can, within the law, to alleviate the problems that exist and make sure they don’t come back. Brundidge is a good town with good people. We don’t need people coming in and disrupting our way of life. It has to stop.”

Prior to the council meeting, the council held a public hearing on three rezoning request. The requests were for the rezoning of property located on 7th Avenue from multi-family residential (R-3) to Mobile Home Residential (MHR); property located at 413 S. S.A. Graham Blvd. from Reserved Residential (RR) to multi-family residential (R-3); and property located next to 316 Johns Street (formerly C.W. Johns’ store) from Mobile Home Park (MH) to neighborhood commercial (B1).

At its regular meeting, the council voted to accept the recommendations of the city’s planning commission and approve all rezoning requests.

The Brundidge City Council meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Brundidge City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.