Harrisburg Police are targeting neighborhoods ridden with crime and violence. Mayor Linda Thompson says cops will be out on the streets to make neighborhoods safer as part of her Neighborhood Safe Zone Act.
Residents say since Thompson blocked off Curtain Street last summer, it has been quiet for the most part. Neighborhoods in places like Allison Hill will be blocked off next, but residents say they're not sure if that will solve the problem.
Louisa Albizu and her grandson Clemente live along Curtain Street in Harrisburg. The 12-year-old says they've seen a lot of crime here. "Last time, they shot our window and it almost came through our house."
While the street seems calm now, last August was a different story. Mayor Thompson shut down Curtain Street, only allowing residents in. They also had a heavy police presence on the street. Louisa says they took the barricades down once they felt it was safer. 'Now they can kinda trust these streets."
One resident told us, they like the plan. "I kinda like what the Mayor's doing."
Police say there has been less violence along the street, but neighbors say there are still some problems. One man says he still sees drug dealers selling on the corner. "I don't say nothing to them unless they by themself. I don't want to get hurt."
On Wednesday, Mayor Thompson announced the Neighborhood Safe Zone Act, an initiative where Harrisburg Police will focus on crime-ridden neighborhoods like South Allison Hill.
But some residents say they think it will work, if they actually take action. "I think they'll make a difference, if they not just talk the talk, but walk the walk."
This plan includes blocking off neighborhoods allowing police to pay close attention, with the goal to make the streets safer. Those who live on Allison Hill fear those plans won't matter.
"It's not about the fact you block a street off, it's whether criminals can walk off the streets." Said Gary Courts. Another person told us, people need to get jobs to make the streets safer. "We need jobs out here!"
In a seven step process, the Mayor says the Safe Zone Act would focus on neighborhoods while also improving the quality of life, including hosting job fairs.
Thompson says the Neighborhood Safe Zone Act will happen as soon as possible and as much as needed. She said she is working with police right now at parts of Allison Hill and Uptown Harrisburg to start.