February 21, 2024

In response to downtown retailers’ complaints about crime, town of Antioch will rent non-public safety to patrol its public parking tons and different property.

The Metropolis Council unanimously accredited the $150,000 expenditure this week for this and the following fiscal 12 months, with the cash coming from the overall fund. Spearhead Safety was awarded the contract.

Appearing Metropolis Supervisor Kwame Reed advised the council {that a} small group of enterprise house owners started assembly with metropolis workers in 2022 after experiencing legal actions in or close to downtown metropolis parking tons. A number of companies agreed to rent safety however the group additionally requested town to rent officers to patrol the downtown metropolis property.

Councilman Mike Barbanica was current at these conferences and mentioned all of it took place following a “horrific crime” that occurred in a downtown metropolis car parking zone.

“I’m not going to enter the main points of it out of respect for the sufferer of that crime,” he mentioned. “However that bought me on this and … how can we ask residents to come back down and frequent our downtown space once they don’t really feel protected?”

Although Barbanica didn’t point out any specifics, one man was shot a number of occasions and killed whereas two others have been wounded when gunfire erupted within the early morning hours at an after-hours occasion close to H Road downtown on July 15, 2022, and one other man was fatally shot close by on Dec. 16, 2023, close to West I Road and Waldie Plaza.

Resident Melissa Case mentioned she accredited of the expenditure, noting residents choose to go to actions in downtown Brentwood or Pittsburg regardless of Antioch’s “nice downtown location.”

“It might be good if it was safer – that’s what I hear from my neighbors and my neighborhood,” she mentioned. “My factor, although, is why aren’t we utilizing our personal police power? Why don’t we rent extra police?”

Half of Antioch’s police power was placed on go away or given mild responsibility within the final 12 months or so following an FBI/District Lawyer investigation and one other probe that exposed officers implicated in racist or homophobic texts. The investigation is ongoing.