Ayden mayor hopes to add full-time officer to housing authority

AYDEN, N.C. (WNCT) — The mayor of Ayden hopes to bring peace of mind to people living in one housing authority community.

The Ayden Housing Authority is home to dozens of senior citizens and children.

Mayor Steve Tripp wants to keep them safe by adding more of a police presence on the property

Mariner Moore is 98 years old, and she said she spends a lot of her time in her favorite chair watching her favorite programming or taking walks down the street in the Ayden Housing Authority complex with her family.

It’s a place she’s called home for more than 30 years.

“There used to be close to just about 10 to 15 people sometimes just standing on the street corner right across from where she lived,” said Melvin Roach, her son-in-law.

Roach said they’ve seen a lot come and go through the neighborhood in the past.

“Many times you walk on the porch, and you’re afraid that you could get shot,” said Roach.

But eventually, it calmed down

“Over the years it’s pretty much cleaned out,” said Roach. “I mean you may see one or two people walking by or something but that’s a whole lot different.”

Town leaders say that’s in part because of a part-time Ayden police officer patrolling the neighborhood.

But they eliminated the position last year.

Mayor Steve Tripp is proposing to allocate funds in this year’s budget to bring a full time officer to the area to keep crime down and create a bond between law enforcement and the residents.

“Really (what is) most successful is when the citizens feel comfortable with an officer that has a relationship, that knows the person by name,” said Tripp. “Then we get a lot more calls to look at things that may look suspicious.”

Roach said the return of an officer makes his family more confident his mother-in-law will be safe.

“It makes me feel better to see the presence because that keeps people out of the neighborhood that don’t live here,” Roach said. “The idea that they are going to increase it, even better.

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