YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The city of Youngstown is battling an ongoing problem with violence and safety. On Sunday, they met with landlords and business owners to get their input on how to solve the problem.
Questions were raised Sunday at a community meeting held in downtown Youngstown.
How did we get here?
What has worked in the past?
What will work moving forward?
Federal Street is a big part of the entertainment district in downtown Youngstown, and on Sunday, landlords across the city met with the mayor and other city officials on how to keep patrons and everyone else safe.
“We can’t have someone to say I’m afraid to go there,” said Mayor Tito Brown at the meeting.
Multiple concerns were raised from restaurant and bar owners to residential landlords. They all revolved around one thing.
“This is an issue that everyone faces, and I think it’s one issue that is happening right now where everyone can be in agreement on is safety,” said Anne Massullo-Savella, owner of Avalon Downtown.
Police Chief Carl Davis presented body camera footage from an incident outside The Social, which has been called a nuisance.
Massullo-Savella was driving by when the incident took place. She says she had never seen anything like it.
“It was an eye-opening experience, and it was terrorizing to be honest with you,” she said.
Many ideas were brought up from landlords to curb the crime and violence. These included better lighting, installing cameras downtown and also a heavier police presence.
But what everyone really pushed was working together to fix the problems at hand.
“A lot of people have worked very hard on getting downtown to where it is today, so you know, we can’t take any steps backwards,” said Joey Mamounis, of Avalon Downtown.
There was a sense of optimism that the city is going to work with businesses and landlords for the common goal.
“They live here, too,” Mamounis said. “Why wouldn’t they want to live in a safe environment?”