A west side group is determined to make their neighborhood safer by organizing efforts on the grassroots level.
Metro Alliance and representatives from several law enforcement agencies, including Chief of Police William McManus and District 5 Councilman David Medina, walked around neighborhoods off of Saltillo Street for about an hour Friday night.
The goal was to talk to neighbors about their problems, hand out fliers with information about public safety and economic development, and just be neighborly.
“As we go through these neighborhoods, you can see the smile on people’s faces and they thank us for helping them,” said Alan Rheaum, an organizer.
About four dozen people, mainly from different area church parishes, spent their evening strolling the streets and chatting.
Organizers said the results after five such walks -- including two with a law enforcement presence -- have been pronounced.
Crime has gone down noticeably, they said, although those results are anecdotal at best.
The group readily admits the area has a list of problems, including drugs and prostitution, and that they are a long way from being solved.
But they count all that as motivation to continue their work, spending a least part of their Friday night to do so.