Tacoma’s Hilltop residents concerned about rising crime

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TACOMA — Residents packed a community meeting in Tacoma Monday night, to voice concerns about increasing crime in the Hilltop neighborhood.

When Lewis Rudd opened an Ezell’s Chicken in the Hilltop area of Tacoma, he knew about the problems of the past.

hilltop2“There were a lot of fears for folks to come up here because of the activity. There used to be a lot of gang activity,” Rudd said.

“I remember the days working up here as an officer,” Tacoma Police Chief Donald Ramsdell said. “It was a battlefield with gangs, drugs, and shootings.”

Officers and community members worked hard to take their streets back and make Hilltop a safe place.

“The crime rate has been the lowest in this area for quite some time, and that was because of us,” said City Councilwoman Lauren Walker, who lives in Hilltop.

But over the past few months, there have been incidents of drive-by shootings, robberies, and loitering.

“In September, we began to hear some concerns from customers,” Rudd said. “There were crowds hanging out, mostly young kids and young adults.”

Rudd hired a security guard to give his customers and employees some extra protection.

“Peace of mind, knowing when they come in here, the environment is safe,” he said.

But he wanted to know what else was being done to keep people safe, so Monday night he attended the Hilltop Action Coalition meeting at the Tacoma Police Department.

A lot of people showed up, concerned about what’s been happening lately.

“Every now and then, we need to be reminded that we can’t be complacent and we need to watch out for our community and each other,” said Lisa Lawrence.

“I keep hearing the theme of working together, becoming part of your community, finding solutions together,” said Ramsdell, after listening to residents for about an hour. “That’s what it takes. Public safety is not a spectator sport.”

The Hilltop Action Coalition says they’ll continue to meet monthly and stay connected in-between through social media.

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  • Lisa Lawrence


    Just saw the spot on the 9:00 PM news.

    You did a WONDERFUL job of capturing the spirit of our community and the purpose of our meeting.

    Thank you!

    will the video be posted so that we can share it?

  • Lucy Frye

    Is it possible to revive and make the Hilltop Community thrive? Is it possible to bring opportunity to the
    young and to give them hope and to the knowledge that they are diamonds in the rough, and not a worth –less piece of glass. Is it possible to rehab the Community and at the same time give jobs and work skills to the youth through apprenticeship programs? Is it possible to use the funds wisely by spending it on the people and not on a big shiny new building? Is it possible to get loans for micro businesses or open little shops and little schools and places for the the young and the old?

  • Travis

    Is it possible to teach men to marry, stay with their wives, and raise their sons and daughters? Is it possible if that happened there would be less youth turning to gangs, drugs, sex and violence? Is it possible that if you understood there was no free ride, no hand outs that you would work harder to get good grades and put yourself throigh college? Is it possible to change the culture that says being a thug or a pimp is a worth while occupation that garners respect? Is it possible to expect the community to see you moving up and not drag you back down? Is it fair to demand better of a community that represents 13% of the population yet comprises 75% of the population of penetentiary inmates? Is it possible that if all these issues were resolved that you could get a loan…..not a micro loan? Is it possible for you to understand that your little school, and little shop dont drive the community forward like big shine buildings and business do? Is it possible if you were an educated and upstanding member of society you could get a job in the big shiny building?

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