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Orchard Gardens/Commons Public Safety Committee

The Orchard Gardens/Commons Public Safety Committee is a highly networked crime watch. The Orchard Gardens Resident Association initiated the group at a community meeting convened to address growing area crime. Once a haven for drug dealing, the Orchard Gardens development was transformed by a $60 million HOPE VI renovation in the late 1990s. By 2003, crime was rising again, as drug dealing and prostitution in surrounding neighborhoods filtered into the development, and as incarcerated gang members began to exit the prison system and returned to the neighborhood. In response, the Public Safety Committee’s strategy has been to identify priority issues with the police and to lobby city agencies as a coalition to bring about needed changes in crime enforcement and the physical environment, thereby encouraging broader economic redevelopment. Madison Park Development Corporation heads the Public Safety Committee while serving as the lead area developer, revitalizing Orchard Gardens, renovating vacant commercial properties, bringing in new businesses and building new housing.


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