Leaders ask for more community involvement in Crosland Park neighborhood


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A teenager is recovering following a shooting in the Crosland Park Neighborhood of Aiken, Wednesday. Residents say there have been issues in the area for quite some time. But area leaders say they are working to change that.

“I feel absolutely safe,” Board Member of the Crosland Park Neighborhood Cooperative James Simmons, Jr. told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.”It doesn’t make any difference in the income level of the neighborhood, you’re always going to have issues and problems,” he added.

Simmons is a native of Aiken — leaving the area after graduating from college and returning in 2007. “What my key point was when I moved here was are you going to be a part of the problem or part of the solution?” he recalled.

The board member of the Crosland Park Neighborhood Cooperative says that while there are some issues in the area, they are working with several groups including the Aiken Department of Public Safety to return the neighborhood to its former glory.

The Aiken Department of Public Safety says that they are working on a number of projects in the area including:

  • 2 community officers assigned to Crosland Park who works area specifically
  • Road Patrol Officers stationed in Crosland Park when calls allow
  • Direct Patrols
  • Working with the neighborhood association to get neighborhood involvement
  • Working with landlords to identify problematic tenants or houses that are creating problems areas

“We’ve also been working with the Aiken county housing authority, in the same way, to try to address any specific problem residences to alleviate that,” Lt. Brian Key added.

Councilwoman Gail Diggs of District 1, which includes Crosland Park says that it takes a village to help a neighbor.

“People see it and decide I don’t want to be involved when you do that guess what, it means that they may not ever find out who’s responsible for that crime.”

It’s a sentiment that Simmons is standing by.

“Out of 585 homes in this subdivision, we don’t have the people to come out and participate in our general meetings as they should. The greater your number, the greater effect you will have in your community.”

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