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Neighbors notice decrease in crime after downtown park closes

Posted: 10:29 PM, Oct 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-18 10:23:56-04

Huntridge Circle Park in downtown has been closed for about two weeks now, after neighbors raised concerns that homeless individuals living there were bringing crime to the neighborhood.  People living near the park say crime is already down in the area since the closure.  

When 13 Action News went to the park, it was gated off, and maintenance crews were inside working.  There were no homeless camps inside the park.  

The city put up a sign at the park entrance saying it would be closed through November for maintenance and improvements.  

People living near the park hoped the closure, and the improvements, would help with the crime in the area, too.  

13 Action News met up with one woman who lives across the street from the park.  She tells us she has already seen an improvement.  

"Now it's nice, because you walk by, and it looks clean, it looks safe," says Nicolle Liquorish.  "You can't go in, but we're hoping this is going to make an impact."  

We told you in September that neighbors got upset after a new charity organization passed out hygiene products in the park.  

Back in July, an 80-year-old woman living near the park was sexually assaulted and then shot in her own home.  Police later found out that suspect was homeless.  

In a statement, the city says they were closing the park to make improvements, and explained they would be using herbicides and couldn't have anybody inside the park for safety reasons.  They did not say they were closing down the park to address the homeless population staying there.