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Apartment complex monopolizes police resources
Franklin Township police Chief Mike Castle asked the county prosecutor for help controlling crime at the Wingate Village apartments.
In the past month alone, police have responded to more than 1,000 calls to the Westport Road location, including four felonious assaults and two stabbings.
Castle asked the prosecutor’s office “what exactly, can we as a township do to force the complex to more stringently screen its applicants?”
If nothing is done, the situation will escalate to where the township will have no personnel available to police other neighborhoods.
The volume of residents in the complex has “picked-up, but they are still nowhere near capacity,” Castle said.
The low-income housing, including some federally subsidized Section 8, attracts people of various backgrounds.
“When all different cultures are put into one group – everything breaks loose,” Castle said.
Township resident Bobbie Kean said that if Job and Family Services becomes involved, some residents could be evicted for living in the Section 8 apartments without having their names listed on the lease.
“Or get immigration involved,” Kean said.
“This is something beyond us,” said fire Chief Richard Howard. “We don’t have the manpower nor the finances to sit on it 24/7 to do what needs done.”
The fire department recently responded to a “set-fire” in one of the vacant buildings near the back of the property.
“Vagrants force entry into the back where you can’t see them. It also invites gangs as well as drug activity out there,” Howard said.
Wingate had not yet responded to the Messenger’s request for comment at press time.
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