- Commissioner Rick Minor has created magnets with key information that he's handing out to businesses on North Monroe. The goal is to tackle issues of public safety in the area.
- His efforts are supported by the Leon County Sheriff's Office; they have operations titled Monroe Makeover that are tackling issues in the area.
- Watch the video to hear from businesses in the area and to find out about future projects that will invest money in the area.
Efforts to improve North Monroe Street continue. I'm making the same route as local leaders, to hear from businesses about what they'd like to see here and what measures leaders are putting in place to improve North Monroe.
It's starting with a magnet that's attracting conversation.
"It it makes everybody aware that we can say something, speak out, and maybe, possibly make a difference," said Robert McIntyre, store manager of ACE Hardware on North Monroe.
Recently, he received a magnet from Commissioner Rick Minor who represents all of North Monroe from Tharpe street to the County line. He's handing them out to businesses up and down North Monroe.
The magnet contains important numbers.
"We've got a lot of good resources available for North Monroe businesses for reducing crime and helping folks who are on the street find safe housing," said Minor.
So, he put all the numbers in one place.
"Have all the tools at their disposal to improve the looks of North Monroe, the public safety," said Minor.
McIntyre said he's grateful for the work as he's noticed speeding is an issue here.
I meet up with Deputy Jonathan Gaffney, with the Traffic Unit at the Leon County Sheriff's Office. He said he's personally out on North Monroe at least once week monitoring traffic.
LCSO also have operations targeted at this area specifically, called Monroe Makeover.
"We have since decreased traffic crashes, crime in this area," said Gaffney, "so it's not as aggressive, like an actual operation with different units in the Sheriff's Office."
Gaffney said they're also focusing on driver education, engagement and connection with civilians, in person and on social media. He said he utilizes Facebook Live once a month.
"Basically trying to humanize the badge, we don't want things to be too serious," said Gaffney, "even though some of our concerns or some of the issues are serious, we want to generate a welcoming environment."
Steven Flynn, owner of the Getaway Grille and Bar, just off North Monroe said he has already noticed some improvements.
"From what I've seen, more of a police presence on the Monroe Corridor," said Flynn.
He said that, coupled with the Florida Department of Transportation and Blueprint landscaping project here, is helping the area.
Commissioner Minor is also proposing a new project to Blueprint that he said would spend as much as $30 million of federal and blueprint dollars to improve the safety of north Monroe, particularly the area above I-10.
"That'd be new sidewalks, better lighting, new street crossings that help with pedestrian safety," said Minor, describing how the money would be invested.
Flynn said these efforts are eradicating the stigma associated with North Monroe and sending a clear message.
"We want businesses to be able to thrive, and I think that's an important thing that they're doing," said Flynn.
Commissioner Minor said the proposal will most likely be discussed at the next Blueprint meeting on February 29th. In NW Tallahassee, MS, ABC 27.