ATLANTA - People living in Old Fourth Ward are concerned about violence at a local park.
They told Channel 2 Action News about an explosion of violence and drug activity near their homes. Just last week a man was shot while children played nearby.
"I heard the shot,” said a woman who lives nearby. “The park was packed (with) 50 or 75 people.”
The woman, who didn’t want to give her name, said she's lived near Peace Park in the Old Fourth Ward for 31 years. She said three decades ago it was the place to live, but now she says shootings and drug deals are near daily occurrences.
“Last year in that park alone, (we) arrested over 75 people,” said Atlanta police Lieutenant Dougles Little.
Little said those arrests are progress, and not a sign of more crime.
“We've concentrated efforts in the general area and it's pushed a lot of people into the parks,” said Little. “Criminals know we can't tell you to leave without a cause."
Channel 2 Action News did a similar story in 2009. Residents had the same complaints back then that they do today.
“My concerns are children and the element that it brings here,” Edna Moffett told Channel 2 Action News in 2009. “Children can't play here anymore."
Little said the department is considering installing cameras around the park to help curb crime.
“We would have access to it,” said Little. “We can monitor what kind of criminal activity occurs in park."
The woman who lives near the park said she's more worried that children play in the park. She said it was packed with toddlers during last week’s shooting.
“Anybody else could have got shot,” she said. “With that many people in park, anyone could have gotten shot."
The woman said she would like police to break up large crowds. She said the people typically arrested in the park don't live in the area and just go there to do their "dirty work."