The Southern Pines Police Chief says the Brookside Parks Apartments complex is too much of a drain on his police resources.
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -
The Southern Pines Police Department is threatening a lawsuit against an apartment community for what the police chief says is a drain on his department's resources.
In an email to community and business leaders in Southern Pines, Chief Robert Temme said, "The drain this community (150 apartments) has put on our police services (1600-1700 documented events of activity per year, generated by both the police and the residents) has had an impact on the remainder of the residents and businesses in the Town of Southern Pines whom we proudly serve.
"A couple of weeks ago there was a shooting right here where kids play at, in broad daylight," commented Rodnekka McNeil who lives in Brookside Park.
She said the shooting was part of a drive-by. Police said the victim was wanted on other charges and that he slipped away from UNC Hospitals before he could be arrested.
That shooting was one of the most well-known crimes in Brookside recently, but McNeil says it's just one of a number of calls that police respond to in her community. She blames apartment management
"[The manager] don't thoroughly check anybody," McNeil said. "Anybody can live here, and that's why everything goes on around here, because anybody and everybody stays here."
The police department hosted a meeting for feedback on the potential lawsuit last Thursday. Temme said his department was preparing to enter into a "Nuisance Abatement" civil litigation with the owners/investors and management company of Brookside Park Apartments.
Usually a potential lawsuit of that kind pushes for the complex's management to make changes to reduce crime.
The management of Brookside Park declined to comment to WNCN about the police concerns or potential changes.
Ken Laws who lives in another park of Southern Pines said he understands why the police department would push for changes. He said if police are working too much on Brookside they can't give his community the attention it may need.
"I think it's rather brave of them to do that, and I applaud them for doing it," Laws said. "We need the police in all quarters of our community, not just in one. If they are being overburdened in one area then that means their protection on other areas is going lacking."
McNeil said she hopes a potential lawsuit will force management to take some responsibility.
"They think it's the police's job. It's not the police's job, it's your job," she said referring to management. "You're the one that lets people stay here."
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>