Township to Tackle Condo Crime Concerns
Meetings will be held to gather ideas on how to reduce violence
One of the township's next steps in an effort to reduce violence in a number of multi-family housing developments will be a town-hall style meeting which will include a discussion on how to combat crime and other issues.
Though a date has yet to be set, Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said a meeting will be held as part of a wider effort to reduce violence in several of the township's condominium complexes. Acropolis said he has already hosted meetings with members of condominium associations.
Another part of the effort to reduce crime was reinstituting the Brick Police Department's Selective Enforcement Team, or SET Team, as it is often called. The specialized unit is tasked with combating drug and gang activity. Police Chief Nils R. Bergquist has said drug activity is the driver of the majority of the township's property crime.
Condominium complexes in the township have had the dubious distinction of being the sites of several violent incidents in recent months.
In April, police investigated a stabbing in the Maple Leaf Park development off Herbertsville Road. Last month, police arrested a man involved in an assault on a female there. In February of this year, a woman was robbed and cut while walking along Herbertsville Road near Maple Avenue, adjacent to the same development.
Other condominium complexes have also made news in recent years. Police have identified gang graffiti painted outside the Cedar Gardens complex off Cedar Bridge Road, and last year, several people suspected of being rival gang members engaged in a fight at a complex off Van Zile Road.
Perhaps the most high profile incident that has taken place in a Brick complex was the 2005 arrest of William Sosa, leader of the Philadelphia Latin Kings, who was found to be living in Sutton Village. Sosa, nicknamed "King Homicide," is now serving a life sentence in a federal prison.
"Residents of these developments are tired of seeing police lights outside their windows. They are tired of feeling scared in their own homes," said Acropolis.
The next planned meeting will involve the mayor, police chief, members of the township council's public safety committee and representatives from the condominium associations.
The meeting will cover ways to combat drug and gang activity, and provide a forum for the group to "discuss what avenues are available to the township and the condo associations to combat these problems," a statement from the township said.
After that meeting, a public, "town hall" style meeting will be planned aimed at hearing the concerns of residents.