A Handful Of Trouble For Longview Police - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/9/06-Longview

A Handful Of Trouble For Longview Police

    A flurry of shootings, arsons, and domestic violence have tied up Longview police and fire investigators over the past 2 months.  In the past week police have had to investigate shootings, fires and de-fuse  heated confrontations between rival groups.

    "From time to time, people get hot, tempers flare so it can happen" said Longview police sergeant Shaun Pendleton.

     The latter part of last week it came to a boil;  three shootings, two men dead.   Since January first, there have been 17 suspected arsons investigated in Longview, the majority in south Longview; many believed to be used as hang outs for drug users and sellers.

    "We have identified some people who have been in these structures who we know are dealing narcotics distributors but we need the help of our community" said Longview assistant Fire Marshal Mark Moore.

    "This crime, its' on an increase instead of a decrease, and my first thought is what can we do to put this in a decrease" said Longview minister Dr. Kevin Johnson.

    Area ministers, like Johnson have taken to the streets trying to calm the fears of nervous residents.

   "One thing we're telling people in our community first of all we don't have to live in fear and this is not a time to panic" said Johnson.

    That sentiment is echoed by Nathaniel Carter, who lives near where some of the most serious violence has taken place.

     "We need some positive things in the neighborhood well my concern is safety of innocent people ,that's the main concern" Carter says.

     While police are acknowledging the rise in crime they are still hesitant to say the word "gang".

   "To my knowledge we're not increasing patrols, we may beef up patrols in certain areas" Pendleton says.

    The Longview ministerial alliance plans on holding a prayer march through the streets of south Longview that have been effected by the shootings and arsons. A date will be announced in a Monday meeting of the alliance.

Reported By : Bob Hallmark; bhallmark@kltv.com .

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