From the CBS 8 Troy Newsroom-- Dozens of Pike County residents attended a town hall meeting tonight searching for answers after a rash of violent crimes have been reported in the area in the last six weeks.
In the last month, Police have been busy investigating several crimes including home invasions and sexual assaults. Community members say they've come to the town hall meeting with safety concerns like how to protect themselves.
The questions kept on coming, and with each answer, residents say the Taking Back Our Community Town Hall Meeting left them feeling safe.
"We just wanted to know how to protect ourselves, and be safe about it," says area resident Bonnie Green.
After a rash of crimes that happened in last six weeks, including two sexual assaults police say happened in the same neighborhood on the same day and two home invasions.
And while police have made arrests, some of these incidents remain unsolved.
"This is something our officers are working on every day," says Sgt. Benny Scarbrough with the Troy Police Department.
Circuit Clerk and event organizer Jamie Scarbrough says since January 2011, there have been 89 felony thefts, 101 drug possessions, 12 attempted murders, and eight capital murders.
"This is not what we are about. It's time for us to say we are not having it anymore," she says. "We're not doing it anymore. We're not going to tolerate it."
Scarbrough says these crimes have left residents feeling uneasy, so uneasy that the Sheriff's Department has been issuing an average of 20 pistol permits a day.
"People did not know, but with the 2006 amendment to the law, you no longer have the duty to retreat. You can protect your own home," says Assistant District Attorney Jeff Moore.
Those in attendance agree.
"We just need to protect what's ours and our families," says Green.
And say it's events like these that will hopefully send a message to others in the area.
"They know we're aware of it now, and that we're not going to stand for it, and that we're going to pull together," says area resident Arleen Hamm.
City and county law enforcement are encouraging women to sing up for their firearms safety course and rape aggression defense class.
For more information on the Sheriff's firearms course call (334) 566-4347.
To find out about Troy Police Department's firearms course call (334) 566-0500.
To hear about the Rape Aggression Defense Course call (334) 566-0500 or (334) 670-3215.