COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says she plans to go out to the area she calls a potential crime haven and talk to neighbors about how the city can help them fight crime in the area. It's a decision that's causing mixed reactions in the south Columbus community.
"I think the police might be doing everything that they can, but it's just so much going on back to back that you just can't catch it," says Tamika Drake, who lives in south Columbus.
Drake says a man opening fire at Cross Keys Apartments killing her friend Marquese Hodge and injuring another just last week, coupled with a similar shooting that injured three the week before is overwhelming... and city leaders agree.
We spoke with Mayor Tomlinson, who tells us she believes there are party houses at the apartment complex, where renters are inviting folks on the property and engaging in risk behavior.
It's behavior that neighbors claim isn't an indication of the community as a whole.
"Most people who do these shootings come from a different community to the south side and have these altercations or drug busts," explains south Columbus resident Kirk Ruzzell.
Tomlinson says she and Police Chief Ricky Boren will tour the apartment complex to speak to residents and business owners in hopes of addressing concerns like these. But folks who live near the complex say they prefer a different approach to fighting crime.
Ruzzell adds "present something else to do besides just being outside with nothing to do. You know, a community center, certain programs, stuff like that."
When asked flat out how they felt about the tour, Ruzzell and Drake were divided.
Drake says "yes, I definitely think that's a great idea."
Ruzzell chimes in with "I don't think nobody can make a difference. It's just educating people on things not to do and ways to do certain things."
Mayor Tomlinson tells me the tour was first scheduled to take place at some point this week, but has been pushed back to next week when the owner of the Cross Keys Apartments returns to town.