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Community meets to discuss violence in Steubenville

Updated: Wednesday, September 3 2014, 06:31 PM EDT
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio – Organizers hope to encourage change during Wednesday evening’s meeting involving Steubenville community members and city leaders.
The meeting, open to the public, was set up to allow those living in Steubenville to be heard and air their opinions about the recent violence in their area. But most of all, organizers want police and other officials to work hand-in-hand with the community.
The last straw for many within Jefferson County, and more specifically, the LaBelle neighborhood, was a shooting that took place between two men in late August at Piece of Pie Park. Steubenville City Council is asking for the popular park to be closed and dismantled.
Russ Boggs lives in the LaBelle neighborhood and was on his porch during last month’s shooting.
"I feel there is a knee-jerk reaction going on,” Boggs said. “The park is not the crime. Closing the park will not stop the crime."
The meeting was organized by the Hilltop Community Development Corporation. Laura Sirilla, the president of the group, said she believes Jefferson County's neighborhoods are wonderful places to live. They just need a little help.
"It's a meeting about crime and safety,” Sirilla said. “We will have the city manager and law enforcement from different agencies. I was reminded how much of a great neighborhood we live in. We have the Hilltops. LaBelle and Pleasant Heights, are good neighborhoods with a lot of good people."
Also planning to attend the meeting was Beth Rupert-Warren, executive director of the United Way of Jefferson County. She hopes to discuss plans for a county crime watch program.
"I think that part of our role in this is to develop services that will impact the community and develop stronger working relationships with everyone in the community," Rupert-Warren said.
The meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m., at the Trinity Medical Center East Complex.

Community meets to discuss violence in Steubenville

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