Montopolis residents work with police to cut crime

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist PETER HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 23 at 12:29 PM

EAST AUSTIN -- One Austin neighborhood has taken crime into their own hands.

"For decades Montopolis was drug-ridden," explained resident Delwin Goss. "I mean I'm an ex-drug addict and the reason I moved to Montopolis was I could get heroine or crack cocaine here at two in the morning easier than I could get a quart of milk."

Goss moved to the Montopolis neighborhood in 1993. Now he's the chairman of the Montopolis Community Alliance.

"We will work hand in glove with APD to make this a cleaner, nicer place," Goss said.

He said when a thrift shop opened up just around the corner from him; he started getting e-mails and phone calls from his neighbors.

"Within three or four days of it opening, I got an e-mail from somebody saying, 'That's not a thrift shop, I don't know what's going on but it's not a thrift shop,'" Goss said.

Goss went inside the shop to take a look for himself.

"There was no business in the thrift shop. All the business was going on in the back room," Goss said.

Instead he found what he believed to be illegal gaming.

"You could see the eight liners there and the people playing them," he said.

Once police got word they went in too. Officers arrested two employees there with outstanding warrants. One of the warrants was for illegal gaming at another location. Now officers are keeping a close eye on the store.

"It takes a neighborhood to keep a neighborhood crime free," Goss said.

It's just one example of how these neighbors are working closely with APD. Police officials tell KVUE their efforts are working and crime numbers in Montopolis have decreased dramatically.

Goss said after many years he's not leaving.

"We may live in a low-income neighborhood but we deserve to live in a safe neighborhood. Just as much as anybody else in Austin," he said.

Police officials said when they went inside the thrift store on Montopolis Drive; they did see people playing games, but could not confirm if customers actually play for cash. Since they made those arrests, the doors have been locked.

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