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North Monroe Street businesses applaud crime reduction efforts

Businesses near North Monroe support recent arrests
Posted at 6:34 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 18:34:28-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WTXL) — Tallahassee Police now focused on cleaning up crime on North Monroe Street. Business owners say it's the change they have waited for.

Tara Hewitt owns Tara Angel's Magic in the Heritage Plaza off of Sharer Road. She's says knowing the police are listening brings her some relief.

"It's hard to go home at night when there are a lot of people wandering around. When there's just glass between my store and the outside," said Hewitt.

Tallahassee Police launched a week-long investigation into crime on North Monroe between John Knox Road and I-10. The department says it was started after community complaints about drug activity in the area. It resulted in 16 arrests ranging from driving offenses to drug charges. In a statement, TPD says

"This type of illegal activity and the collateral crimes that go hand-in-hand with it drastically affect all aspects of life and frequently lead to more violent crimes."

Hewitt says the crowds increased when COVID started and the homeless shelter moved many of its residents into a nearby hotel. That's when she bought cameras.

"Interior and exterior cameras help me keep an eye on my business. TPD can respond pretty quickly but I need to have the heads up that something's going on. We've seen and shooed away people from our back door," said Hewitt.

County commissioners are also addressing those concerns. They're now looking into creating a North Monroe Task Force. It would include a facelift to the area, addressing homelessness, blight, and continued efforts to reduce crime.

The task force was discussed during a December commission meeting. There are plans to continue discussions later.