Answering Your Questions About Montgomery

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By Ashley Thompson

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Police Chief Kevin Murphy and Public Safety Director Chris Murphy sat down with Alabama News Network to answer your questions. We took questions from our Facebook page, Twitter and by telephone and asked the officials what you want to know most.

With 21 homicides in Montgomery so far, a lot of residents want to know what is being done to curb violent crime. Public Safety Director Chris Murphy says the majority of the city's homicides have involved other criminal activity and insists that Montgomery is a safe place.

"We're not having any random shootings or kind of the 'wrong place, wrong time' thing," says Murphy. "Generally speaking, shopping and going to church and doing activities, you are not in any more danger than anywhere else."

Police Chief Kevin Murphy says although he is taking responsibility for the increase in crime, he believes stopping it is a community effort

"You show me an effective neighborhood watch program and I'll show you a good neighborhood," he says. "It has to be the community. They have to be involved."

Some asked about abandoned houses in their communities. Mayor Todd Strange says he also believes the vacant properties are troubling and tells us the city can destroy about 100 units per year.

"It's not as simple as somebody report it and we go out there and tear it down," says Strange. "There is a process but we want to know every single dwelling here that needs to be torn down. Get it on the list. We'll get the process done and over time we'll get it down."

Mayor Strange says the same can be said for bad roads. To report one in your neighborhood, call 311. If the road is rated poor, it will be put on a list to be taken care of.

Lastly, Others asked about further developing downtown Montgomery, asking for more retail shops.

"We want and we know that we need more shopping and we need a grocery store downtown," he says. "There's probably not a week that goes by that we don't talk to a developer about either retail or grocery."

Mayor Strange says there have been 250 illegal weapons taken off the streets in the city's illegal gun initiative.



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