Friday, April 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Record Parkway Gardens turnout earns praise

30 safety meeting 01

Wilhelmina Webb, front, a resident at the Parkway Gardens, asks Crime Prevention Specialist Jeff Conner a question during a community safety meeting at the Parkway Gardens in Fairfield, Wednesday. In response to the recent crimes in the community the Fairfield Police Department held the meeting so residents can safely voice their concerns. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | January 30, 2014 | 3 Comments

FAIRFIELD — People turned out in record numbers Wednesday for a community safety meeting at the Parkway Gardens condominium development, says Jeff Conner, crime prevention specialist with the Fairfield Police Department.

“Parkway Gardens is a beautiful place – a beautiful place to live,” he said. “It can be better.”

“It’s going to take work on your part and our part,” Conner said.

He spoke at the end of a meeting that included questions from residents about issues at the 240-unit residential development where the body of a man was found Jan. 3 behind the El Verano Court section of the complex. Fairfield Police Lt. Greg Hurlbut said the homicide remains under investigation.

Conner told the dozens of people who attended the community safety meeting that police rely on residents to assist them with making the site safe.

“It’s not always going to happen right in front of us,” Conner said of incidents. He added: “You’re in your neighborhood.”

Hurlbut said improving the quality of life at Parkway Gardens is a top city goal.

“It’s one of our highest priorities,” he said.

A lot of the crime at the complex is predatory and committed by people from the Bay Area who prey on the community, Hurlbut said.

Improved lighting and security cameras at Parkway Gardens are among improvements, the lieutenant said. He asked residents to call police when they see people who are up to no good.

“We look at you as part of the community policing solution,” Hurlbut said.

A resident who’s lived at Parkway Gardens for nine years said at the safety meeting that, “I’ve seen Parkway in its heyday.”

“And I’ve seen it right now at its very worse,” she said.

Ben McGrew, the court-appointed receiver who has taken over management of the homeowners association, said he’s worked in that role in about 50 California counties.

“This city,” he said, “has been one of the best if not the best.”

Police reports are reviewed, McGrew said, and liens and other measures can follow. “That’s our target,” he said, “the troubled units.”

McGrew told people at the meeting, “We’re glad you’re out here.”

Resident Janice Eaton, who last March filed a legal challenge in Solano County Superior Court to the Parkway Gardens Homeowners Association, welcomed the Wednesday meeting.

“I’m very impressed,” she said. She added of condo development improvements: “A lot of this stuff in still in progress.”

Eaton, who has been a homeowners association director, said in her suit that the association failed to maintain the required five-member board. The city agreed and stated that the lack of a board affects the ability to police crime and enforce city codes.

Eaton said Wednesday that the goal is to get people to want to work to bring the neighborhood back together.

Hurlbut invited people to attend weekly meetings with city officials at 3 p.m. each Tuesday at Parkway Gardens clubhouse.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

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Discussion | 3 comments

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  • boomJanuary 30, 2014 - 12:55 am

    Its going to take this among many other things to turn parkway around. Are the police just paying lip service or are they serious about curtailing crime in this area? Also, just exactly how much man hours should be spent trying to fix this complex that houses less than 1,000 people? Are the police willing to make this a number 1 priority, at a possible loss of patrols in other badly needed areas? And last but definitely not least, how come we aren't hearing about drug busts and warrants being served in this area? That's what is bringing violence into this community and for it to stop, the drug activities must stop.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • robJanuary 30, 2014 - 10:34 am

    Yes i agree with everything boom says. It is great they are at least talking about that location and things to improve it but, what about the other areas. I lived for 11 yrs. behind the area where the newer Walmart opened up a couple yrs back right off Orchid. That area has home burglaries everyday that have been out of control for about five yrs now. the police know about it cause it is in the paper everyday about the houses getting robbed but never ever saw police in the neighborhood. My old neighbor Al Lakhan even admitted to robbing my house and the police never bothered to come talk to him about it! Even after his confession! Was told he was an informant later so i guess that's why they didn't bother to talk or arrest him. So i hope the police do a better for Parkway then they ever bothered to do in my old neighborhood. Let's see if this time it is action and not all talk as usual!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensJanuary 30, 2014 - 5:49 am

    Why doesn't the manager hang a sign out front that reads ''Welcome To Parkway Gardens! Our Next Horrific Crime Is On (fill date / time in the blank space)"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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