Walking into Tuesday night’s meeting at Redmon & Lee Community Center, a young boy playing basketball yelled out to me.
"Where is everybody going?" he said.
To a meeting, was the reply.
"Oh," said the boy. "This is about the Chicago people, isn’t it?"
Well, yes and no.
Concerned citizens gathered with city leaders to address growing gang-related violence in the Frederick Ball housing project area. The two-hour meeting was constructive and a lot of topics were discussed.
Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley took the bull by the horns and told the assembled throng from the start his officers were going to stop people for vehicle violations and for breaking the law. Some didn’t like it, and there were questions asked about racial profiling and selective enforcement.
Copley said his officers don’t stop people because of race, which drew a negative response.
But Copley didn’t back down and quite a few people in the room, residents included, nodded their heads when he talked about enforcing the law and getting gang members out of the neighborhood.
Most gang members come from Chicago to set up shop and sell drugs, the chief said. A couple of people at the meeting said they were Chicago transplants and appreciated the fact the neighborhood came together.
There was a lot of talk. Now we’ll see what kind of action comes from this. Frederick Ball residents don’t want to live in fear, and nobody wants to see another homicide like the July 15 incident on North 12th.