GRIFFITH | The Griffith Town Council is creating a three-person panel to deal with crime on the north end of town — including The Mansards apartment complex.
"The objective is to get a better feel for what is going on there," said Vice President Rick Ryfa, R-3rd.
Ryfa said the panel will consist of himself, Council President Glen Gaby and Clerk-Treasurer George Jerome.
"We have already met with senior management of The Mansards and will continue to do so as we move forward," Ryfa said.
The goal is to reverse the recent trend of violence, Ryfa said, adding that the new group will be open and transparent.
On Tuesday, Ryfa said there have been six shootings in and around the apartment complex this year.
"Just recently, we had four shootings in 34 days," he said. "Crime in some areas was up over 200 percent. This is not acceptable."
Ryfa said an advisory group also will be formed among community leaders, business owners, residents, police officials and school personnel.
This is to "get no-nonsense input to identify both real and perceived problems affecting our community and subsequently develop solutions," Ryfa said.
"It is imperative that our police officers are given every tool possible to help fight crime before it happens," Ryfa said. "We have a tremendous group of officers, and the town will support in them in every way as they fight the crime and get the bad guys off the street."
Interim Police Chief Matthew Moore said Tuesday the department is aware of the spike in violent crimes during the past year and that they come from illegal drug and gang activities.
"The previous administration had been working toward measures to combat these crimes," Moore said. "The current administration, with assistance from other local police and federal agencies, will take the necessary steps to address this issue."