Neighbors want to know future of West End community policing headquarters

Neighbors want to know future of West End community policing headquarters
(Source: WBRC Video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Evanne Gibson, like many in her community, wants to know when - or if - the Community Policing Revitalization headquarters will reopen.

"We thought this building will be a place for the residence and the police would have a means of communication on a different level," she said.

Last August, city leaders stood in front of this building on 12th Street Southwest and Tuscaloosa Avenue and promised to revive the West End Community. They cut the ribbon on this building where inside six police officers would work and try a community based approach to fighting crime.

On that day they were told the goals of the program were to control violent crime, drug-trafficking and other criminal activities.

"It was going to be as a haven even for children," said Gibson. "If they see something going on and they have a relationship with the police here they will feel free to ask them a question."

But instead, Councilwoman Shelia Tyson said they got "absolutely nothing."

Tyson represents this district and she said her office receives calls weekly asking about this program.

"I haven't got a report on whether they are going to open it, when they're going to open it . But we did get an opportunity to meet a guy who is supposed to be over community policing, but still no report, no program, no plan," Tyson said.

Tyson said this approach to policing could change the dynamics of this community.

"This is a high crime area. This is 35211. We need it here and the stats show that it should be here and the community wants it." she said.

"We want this to be a safe haven for the people in the West End community," said Gibson.

Birmingham police tell us the building is used for various things from time to time. The Mayor's office is scheduling an interview with the city's new Community Policing Liaison on Friday.

We'll bring these concerns to him Friday and we'll update the story.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.