Ridgewood Tenants Try Neighborhood Watch

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Police say calls for service often go up once warmer weather hits, but tenants of the troubled Ridgewood Country Club Apartments in Fitchburg want to work toward reducing calls throughout the year.

Jodi Johnston, a tenant of more than 25 years says, "I could almost call the police daily with a problem going on in my own building."

Ridgewood tenants say the problems range from car traffic ... "Coming up Fish Hatchery and Traceway Drive is terrible, really."
To drug traffic ... "My building they're meeting once a month, a lot of traffic there ... don't know if it's pay day or what," Johnston says.

Whatever it is, they say it has to stop. A group of concerned tenants hope to improve things by establishing a neighborhood watch. Half a dozen people met with Fitchburg police to air concerns and to learn what to do.

Officers recommend people call to report suspicious or criminal activity, and they say, establish a neighborhood contact. "Since there are so many buildings, I think it would have to be by building, I would think," one officer says.

One person to report what's going on, like graffiti or trespassing.
Johnston says, "it's too bad. The city's got limited resources, but yet we're spending them all at Ridgewood and that's not fair to Fitchburg."
Johnston hopes others realize, a neighborhood watch will take more than a handful of concerned tenants.
"Everybody says how they can't stand the crime, well where were they? It's gonna take some action."

Officer Sean Coffey agrees, saying "the more people get involved, the faster we'll be able to take care of problems here."

Police remind those willing to call with a crime tip that they can remain anonymous.

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