At a press conference on Wednesday, Mayor Linda Thompson declared Harrisburg's first neighborhood safe zone a success. She also announced the location of the second one. She says this safe zone would start no later than Monday.
The first safe zone was set up in the 1900 block of Bellevue Road. Mayor Thompson said the next focus will be in Central Allison Hill, more specifically, the areas around South 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Streets.
When police set up the first safe zone, residents were doubtful that it would work. But Mayor Thompson said figures she has released, prove them otherwise. While the zone was set up, cops recovered three stolen guns, issued 17 traffic tickets, filed criminal charges for drug violations and illegal possession of firearms, including one arrest for possession by a minor.
"Some people were happy with having some people work. I would like to think more people were happy and not. A lot of the information and stuff we received is going to lead will couple more active investigations into things i'm not really going to talk about now."Said Sgt. D.T. Wealen with Harrisburg Police.
The focus of the Mayor's program was more than neighborhood crime. It also focused on neighborhood quality of life, 65 properties were cited for code violations. Those people were encouraged to go to City Hall for information on programs to help with repairs. The Mayor said the neighborhood was also cleared of trash and litter.
"He had one big dump truck. We took it out there and we ended up confiscating about four tons of the illegal waste. It was a combination of the residents just not being tidy and also illegal dumping from mattresses to couches, just all that nonsense. That shouldn't be going on in a decent neighborhood." Thompson said.
She also said the effort in the Central Allison Hill area will be announced in advance. Future ones will be held with the element of surprise, which she says is a benefit for the city.
Harrisburg Police officers also promise they will follow up in the areas where the safe zones were, to help improve the neighborhood quality of life.