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 firstname.lastname@example.org.