Hamlin Park residents fight back against crime in their neighborhood

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — People who live in Hamlin Park on Buffalo’s east side are taking matters into their own hands.

Neighbors say crime and disturbances continue to be a problem in their neighborhood. They’re battling drug activity on the street, shootings and rowdy neighbors.

“We’ve had a number of shootings, we’ve had a number of violent acts against people for no reason, we’ve had bullets go through a couple of houses where people are sleeping, you know, totally unaccepted behavior,” said Stephanie Geter, Hamlin Park resident.

Wednesday night Buffalo Police responded to a call of shots fired on East Delevan Avenue. No one was shot, but some homes were hit. Police arrested two people and recovered a gun.

“It’s almost as though they had been awaken out of their sleep with something very violent. Who want’s that, who does that, no one wants to do that,” said Geter.

People living in the neighborhood say they believe the crime is connected to absentee landlords and the lack of screening for tenants. They say there are a number of problem properties in the area.
“We have a few absentee landlords that maybe don’t quite closely monitor the people they’re allowing to move into their properties,” said Chrissy Lincoln, Hamlin Avenue resident.

Police are working to get rid of problem properties through housing court. The department will also be stepping up patrols.
“It’s something that is going to be top priority right now and we are going to address this thing and take care of the violence in your neighborhood because you don’t deserve what’s going on right now,” said Chief Carmen Menza, Buffalo Police Department E-District.

Neighbors say by banning together with police it gives them hope they can peacefully take back their neighborhood.

“This isn’t the type of neighborhood that would let something like that tear it a part so we all just kind of come together and we’ll find a solution to get these problems solved,” said Lincoln.

Police say if you live in the neighborhood to always report the problem to either 911 or 311 so they can keep a record of all the crime and disturbances.

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