CONA meets to stop neighborhood crime

05/21/09 Andrea Lypka
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City officials and neighborhood association presidents discussed economic, cultural and environmental problems at the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) meeting May 20.

The neighborhood association presidents said that they want to raise public awareness about the problems in their neighborhoods. One of the problems some neighborhoods face is crime.

Tom Tito is a crime watch coordinator at Bartlett Park and vice-president of the neighborhood association. He came to the meeting to find out more about CONA Neighbors Helping Neighbors program to combat neighborhood crime. He said he implemented a similar program in Bartlett Park in South St. Petersburg.

“The citizens in the neighborhood are really happy to see a positive change, “he said.

Tito said that since the march in honor of Paris Whitehead-Hamilton, the 8-year-old who was shot three times in the back in a gang-related violence on April 5, the community joined the police and crime watch organizations’ efforts to reduce crime. Once they remove the fear and reduce the crime, Bartlett Park will be a viable community for new home buyers.

“Crime can also be reduced through community gardens,“ said Andrea Hildenbran. The new community garden in Bartlett Park, the Paris Gardens is Hildebran’s idea.

The fist volunteer orientation meeting for the community gardens in Bartlett Park is May 26 at 4:30 p.m. at Twiggs and Leaves nursery located at 1013 Martin Luther King St. S. Hildebran also says that community gardens have a community building function.

The next CONA meeting will be on June 17. For more information visit

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