Public Meeting Held to Address Vandalisms in Gary-New Duluth

DULUTH, Minn.– Gary-New Duluth has experienced acts of vandalism over the past year, including on the construction of the area’s new rec center. Now the community and local law enforcement are coming together to address these issues in the area.

“Some of them were pretty limited as far as attendance and stuff social distancing guidelines and stuff like that. But yeah, it’s a beautiful night, we can have it outside so hopefully a lot of people show up,” said West Duluth Community Officer James Forsyth

And that’s just what happened as dozens of Gary-New Duluth residents came out in the area’s first in-person community gathering to meet with police about the repeated vandalism and crime in the neighborhood.

Forsyth says the meeting was to address issues going on in the area stemming from burglaries to acts of vandalism, including the Gary-New Duluth Rec Center last month. The meeting was a question and answer session with the DPD and residents on what the public can do to help. The biggest advice officer Forsyth says is to never be afraid to call 911 and to always give a good description of an incident to police because residents are they’re eyes and ears when police aren’t around.

“We value our relationships in the community. We rely on them for information,” said Forsyth. “Be a good witness, know your descriptions of people involved, vehicles involved, and directions of travel. The more information that we can get before we get to the scene the better for us.”

Several of those in attendance asked question to officers. One resident who spoke at the meeting was Terry Teich, who moved to Gary because of how quiet the area is. After events like the vandalism to the rec center, she says it’s important for the community to come together to try and put a stop to these incidents with help from law enforcement.

“I just think it’s sad. Ya know, they put it up. This is the roller blade, skateboard park so they create something for the community to use, for the youths to have. And then people go in and trash it? I mean, no, you don’t do that. If it’s not taken care of it will happen more and more,” said Teich.

A former resident in the Hillside community, she says residents there would hold a small neighborhood watch that would keep people engaged in the area and with local law enforcement. And hopes similar changes come to Gary.

The biggest point the DPD said was don’t be afraid to call 911. Adding that if something looks suspicious to not get involved and contact law enforcement right away.

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