Public safety faded in the Tower District when the police substation closed in 2011. The Tower neighborhood west of the tracks adjacent to the intersection of Maroa and Clinton avenues is where I spend many days taking care of my grandchildren.
Cars are broken into, possessions are stolen from porches and back yards and there is a steady stream of thieves riding their bikes south on Vassar Avenue toward a hole cut open (for years) in the fence at the base of the BNSF tracks. Those tracks divide the once-quiet family neighborhood west of the tracks and the blighted, gang-infested area east of the tracks.
An attempt will soon be made to mitigate blight in the area by developing a parcel of land on the southwest corner of Clinton and Blackstone avenues. This disgraceful corner is filled with boarded-up, blighted homes that attract drug dealers, vagrants, squatters and prostitutes. Murders, drive-by shootings and drug deals occur regularly in the neighborhood south of this proposed development.
The time has come to restore public safety on both sides of the tracks by reopening the Tower police substation. Safe family neighborhoods need to be a priority in Fresno.
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Nancy Flynn, Fresno