BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) -- The neighborhood of Melrose East has developed the Melrose East Community Association (MECA) to help rid the area of the crime it is known for.
"The officers have stopped a lot of the public drinking, the hanging out in front of the store, the park, public urination. You have to find somewhere where people are willing to come together and to change their community and that's what we've done", states Shirley Patty, head of security for MECA.
Patty says the sixteen officers she is in charge of have made Melrose East a safer place.
"As far as the police wide services and all that, everything is just wonderful," says Roslyn Murry, a Melrose East resident.
While these changes are impressing people in Melrose East, MECA is hoping to fill those vacant lots in the community with business owners.
"It's important that we clean up the area to attract not only the tenants, but also to attract new businesses to come to the area," states MECA member Milton Franklin.
As far as business owners who are already in Melrose East, MECA wants them to chip in, also. Franklin states MECA has been sending letters out to property owners asking them to contribute to the Melrose East Community Association or get involved with efforts to keep the lots clean.
There is no shortage of enthusiasm in getting the Melrose East area back to where it should be.
"We think Melrose East just has as much potential that's been unrecognized," says Franklin.
"It is a community of family versus individuals and we look forward to people coming taking a look at what we're doing," MECA member Will Belton states. "I'm proud of where I am, and I will continue to do whatever i can do to make it change."