MOBILE, Ala. – The Mobile City Council approved an agreement Tuesday with Mobile Housing Board which will pay $207,500 to the police department to help fight crime in one of the city’s hotspot areas.
The federal money will come through the Mobile Housing Board which manages several housing communities in the city. One of those housing communities is included on the departments hotspot lists, and Chief James Barber wants to beef up police presence there.
Olivia Lucas said a man was shot on Father’s Day not far from her home in the RV Taylor Housing community. She said it’s just one example of rampant crime in the area.
“The crime is outrageous here. The crime the drugs it’s outrageous, So they really do need help,” Lucas said.\
The Mobile City council Tuesday approved an agreement with the Mobile Housing Board to pay 207 thousand dollars to the police department. That money will provide help in the form of more police protection in the area labeled a crime hot spot. The money is part of an going program through the Mobile Housing Board to reimburse police salaries in public housing communities.
“Whether we were being reinbursed by the housing board for any of the officers that are in public housing or not we are still under a mandate and a duty to deal with violent crime in those areas,” Chief Barber said.
The chief said while grant money to reimburse his officers salaries have gone down over the years, crime in the public housing community is on the rise.
The chief said the grant money would have been less this year if it had not been for his department.
“So as we negotiated this one there was an actual decrease, but we were able to negotiate it back to the same funding level I believe as we had last year,” Barber said.
Barber plans to move officers from other areas of the city to cover the public housing community in the first precinct.
He says it’s the same problem we see in other areas, but in hotspot communities like this one it’s more intense.
“The main thing that I think we see on the street is the systemic violence that’s driven by the drug trade. So, we’ve seen that throughout different areas of the city of Mobile, it’s not unusual we see it in every city, but it’s just the systemic violence at accompanies drugs,” Barber said.
The chief has not said how many additional units will be assigned to R.V. Taylor.