Letters: Do you feel safe downtown?

Letters: Do you feel safe downtown?

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With Monday’s Question of the Week, we asked readers whether they felt safe in downtown Johnson City and what security measures they believed should be taken in the district. Here are some of the responses we received.

Alcohol and weapons

Do I feel safe downtown? The answer is, sometimes. If I’m downtown between 5:30 and 9 p.m., I feel relatively safe if I’m downtown alone. After that, it gets a bit sketchy.

Why? The cause of the problem is alcohol 99% of the time. All of the recent tragic events downtown have a strong tie to alcohol combined with some sort of lethal hidden weapon. How do you handle that? Anyone’s guess is as good as mine. There need to be substantive meetings with police, business owners and city officials to discuss all options.

I very rarely see a uniformed police presence downtown, until something bad has happened. Maybe I’m missing something, but unless it’s a holiday weekend, uniformed police are not prevalent downtown during the late hours. I know they can’t be everywhere all the time, but it’s a serious part of the solution.

There needs to be a unified set of rules downtown, or at any drinking establishment. Every business needs to be on the same page instead of different rules at each establishment. There needs to be much better lighting, as well.

The bottom line is that we love our downtown. It has to be a safe place for older folks, families with kids, a group of college kids wanting to relax after a hard week at school and all of those who just like to hang with their friends and have a drink or two and maybe a good meal after working all week.

A lot of people are moving to our city to escape this very type of behavior. Let’s not give them a reason to regret their decision.

I know we can do this. We have great leadership in our city, at all levels. This is not an insurmountable problem.

DAVID BERRY

Johnson City

Drugs are a problem

I don’t necessarily feel unsafe downtown, maybe more on edge. Not particularly about alcohol but drugs.

It feels like you are constantly being surrounded by homeless people and drug deals. Like one time I went to the library, while we were pulling in I saw two people exchange a plastic bag. About 30 minutes later, I was reading on the front steps of the library and a guy who seemed kind of out of it came up and asked me if I wanted a “bag of wisdom,” and being 14 I refused. The guy wasn’t aggressive, but I still felt I should move to the park across the street just to be by some adults.

I think we as a town need to start cracking down on drugs and druggies alike.

ELIAS CHAMBERS

Johnson City

This letter was sent by a reader concerning a different topic of importance to them.

Commission’s vote was two-faced

Hate the federal government … unless you are sending me a check ...

“Let’s as a commission, take a vote to show ol’ Joe Biden how we feel about the federal government!” “Now we will vote on which crony to spend the federal check for COVID-19 on!”

Irony? Hypocrisy? Surely not!

STEVE CLARK

Gray

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