Police called to Washington Gardens twice over the weekend

Two weeks after Elkhart residents speak up against violence in their community police are called back out to the Washington Gardens apartment complex.

On Saturday morning there was an argument that ended with an officer being battered. That officer was not severely injured and neither were any residents. 

Later that same day police assigned to patrol Washington Gardens heard gun shots and found an uninjured woman who says a bullet had entered her apartment through the ceiling from the apartment above. 

There may be a stronger police presence in Washington Gardens but police say that is just the first step towards change. 

“We can always work on building relationships. I mean that is a very large community,” says Sergeant Chris Snyder of the Elkhart Police Department.

Sergeant Snyder says the meeting held April 21st between Washington Gardens’ residents, the Housing Authority, and the Police Department was a step in the right direction.But admits more police in the area is not the complete solution.

On Saturday morning, officers were called to Washington Gardens for a fight in one of the units.

“When the officer was trying to point to get her out of the way so they could get the uncooperative first subject out. Then she ends up smacking him the in the arm,” says Sergeant Snyder.

The officer was not severely injured but two were arrested.

Giorgio Williams of Elkhart was arrested for a warrant, refusal to identify, and resisting law enforcement. 

Renee Godfrey of Fort Wayne was arrested for battery of an officer and interfering with law enforcement. Neither were residents of Washington Gardens.

“The problems that are down there are from people who are from the outside that are down their visiting of some of them just going down there to hang out,” says  Sergeant Snyder.

Kim Sindle director of the Elkhart Housing Authority says new initiatives will be coming to Washington Gardens this week.  

In an email response Single wrote, “A resident survey will be distributed this week for feedback and concerns from Washington Gardens residents to be reviewed  by the Board of Commissioners. Housing Authority patrols are in place and they are assisting us move those individuals that are not tenants out of the development and identify any problem addresses.” 

Sergeant Snyder says still the biggest challenge is forming trust with the tenants in order to address the problem areas.

“We see quite a bit of turn over with the people that are living there so it seems like we get a good relationship and then people move on or we get that relationship then it becomes winter time and it slows down,” says Sergeant Snyder.

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