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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Clayton residents raise public safety concerns at council meeting

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  • There were plenty of items on the agenda for the Clayton Town Council meeting Monday night to be discussed including the reorganization of council and town committees, but the public forum brought forward concerns with public safety in town.
    Issues with speeding in Providence Crossing, basketball hoops on streets, and safety concerns on West Street were discussed at length during the public forum aspect of the meeting.
    Some residents voiced their frustrations regarding the rules of putting basketball hoops on streets in town. Previously concerns were raised by the homeowner associations from the local developments regarding the basketball hoops being in the streets and sidewalks; the town put out a notice reminding residents that hoops cannot be on the street.
    A couple of the residents in the developments questioned the town’s ordinance at the meeting. Chief Brian Hill informed the residents that the town ordinance doesn’t allow the hoops on the streets so that rule will be enforced; however, Vice Mayor Alex Dias noted some deed restrictions in housing developments have more specific rules regarding the hoops.
    Other concerns were raised with speeding in Providence Crossing. Council previously voted to put a four-way stop sign at the intersection of Coldwater Drive and Massey Branch Road to address the speeding concerns.
    However, it was noted at the meeting that residents are still speeding in that area. Hill said officers are doing patrol in the area but can’t be there at all times.
    A third concern raised is problems on West Street. One resident said her mother’s home was burglarized last month after her mother passed away but has had a lack of support from the police department in dealing with the issue.
    Two other residents also voiced concern with safety issues on West Street. All three women pointed to a problem house they believe to be a nuisance on the street.
    Paulette Arnold said she’s never been afraid to live in Clayton until now.
    “The situation we’re dealing with, the three of us, something has to be done,” Arnold said. “Something has to happen before something very bad happens.”
    Mayor Tom Horn said the town will hold a Police Committee meeting to address the concerns, including the issues on West Street.
    “We will get to the bottom of this. I’ve lived here a long time too,” Horn said.
    Earlier in the meeting Vice Mayor Alex Dias said the number of complaints has gone up in reason months pointing and believes this factor, including an increasing population, points to the need of more police officers.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We’re not going to need to get rid of police officers, we’re going to need more in the future,” Dias said.
    After the meeting, Hill said the police statistics aren’t necessarily showing a significant increase in recent months but it’s been more so increasing over the last couple of years. He said the town has a population of 4,000 people with eight police officers, including him, covering the whole town. Having one or two more police officers would go a long way in dealing with the issues in town.
    “Overall I think the Town of Clayton is a very, very safe place to live in but after this meeting and hearing people are afraid to live here – I’ve always heard the opposite – that’s a little disheartening. We will address it,” Hill said.
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