Melrose East residents worried about crime, unemployment

Friday, August 10, 2012 - 5:12pm

"At night I don't trust anyone," says James Gaertner

James Gaertner has worked in Melrose East for years. He came to a meeting at Glory House Church in Baton Rouge on Friday to see what can be done about a crime problem that has seen him get brutally attacked more than once.

"I've been robbed four times in the last couple of years at gunpoint. It's scary. One guy hit me in the head with a pistol," says Gaertner

he thinks a "BRAVE" type program in the Melrose East area would help cut down on crime. Right now the BRAVE officers are focusing on crime in the neighboring zip code- the 70805. Carol Thornton is a businessowner in Melrose East and organized today's meeting. She thinks unemployment, not crime, is the main problem plaguing the area.

Carol thornton expects to open her resource center on august 25 and she says when she does it'll give the residents of Melrose East an opportunity to get off the streets and back to work.

"We want to reach out and help those that are not working. That are not doing anything productive," says Thornton

The resource center will be packed with computers people in the area can use for free to help them find their next job. And Gaertner thinks this can do a lot to cut down on the chances that he or anyone else in the area is the next victim of violence in Melrose East.

"I think if there more employment opportunities and education. People getting GED's or what it takes so they can get jobs...Education and opportunity are the two keys," says Gaertner.

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