COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As promised, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson toured the Baker Plaza Dr. area this week. She says the property owner, police and she have developed a plan to increase security measures, and hopefully decrease the crime.
"We simply met with the head of the management company, and talked about some specifics that they can do to make that a safer property," explains Tomlinson.
She tells us there is evidence that the rash of recent shootings may have stemmed from renters running bars out of their houses. Now, the management is working to add surveillance cameras to monitor these so-called "party houses" at Cross Keys Apartments.
Tomlinson adds, "I think surveillance cameras not only deter activity, but also if activity occurs, then you have the evidence you need to get the right people behind bars."
However, The Murray Law Firm in Columbus thinks other measures should be taken, questioning: What access controls such as a gate, ID card system or security guard were in place at the time of the shootings? And how did these measures fail? Questions that those who live in South Columbus say should have been asked long before now.
Kirk Ruzzell lives in south Columbus, and explains, "Now, everybody wants to point fingers like the south side just been all outrageous, but no... really we've been waiting for our chance to come up in the world. But, you know, they only put projects over here."
Ruzzell says because of that designation, crime and party houses will always happen around areas like this.
Still, Tomlinson offers this to anyone considering a party at one of these homes:
"One, you need to not go to party houses, number one. And number two, should you find yourself in a party house, you most certainly need not to be carrying a gun. And you need to leave if you think anyone else is carrying a gun."
Tomlinson urges anyone in or near a party house to call 911, and alert police about the situation.
We have reached out to the property manager at Cross Keys Apartments for comment. Our phone calls have not yet been returned. There is no word yet on how many cameras are to be installed, or a deadline for their installation.