GREENSBORO, N.C. -- More arrests and an increased number of calls are positive things for Greensboro neighborhoods, according to the Police Department.
Since last September, Greensboro officers have heightened patrols and community efforts in the Old Asheboro and Arlington Park neighborhoods.
The goal is to address crime like prostitution, drug and gang-related activity and public drunkenness on the MLK corridor from East Lee Street to West Florida Street.
Officers spent more than 3,000 hours identifying problems along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
They initiated 563 traffic stops and made 98 narcotics arrests.
In addition, according to Police spokesperson Susan Danielsen, 7 individuals were banned from the MLK corridor during the initiative and 2 people were banned from private property in police presence.
The efforts are not over. Patrol Officer P.B. Lane said they will continue to connect with the community. "We want a bond. We want a relationship with the people and citizens around here," she pointed out.
Officer J.D. Clack says neighbors are starting to feel safer and trust the police more. "People are more apt to call us and they have called us with better descriptions of certain suspects or things they may see," explained Officer Clack.
Old Asheboro Street Neighborhood Association Board Member Deena Hayes says she has noticed a difference. "They have a huge presence here, a very consistent presence," she said.
Hayes believes it will take more work from city officials, neighborhood representatives and the police. She says it's not just about reacting to crime but preventing it.
"We need to discuss how we can create employment opportunities to an area that's been hit really, really hard. One of the hardest hit areas in this city. Unemployment is really one of the root causes of public safety issues in our neighborhood," Hayes explained.
They agreed the one-mile stretch of Greensboro is a historically important neighborhood to keep vibrant and safe.