BUTTE — More than 70 people, along with law enforcement and city officials, held a community meeting to discuss the issue of crime and urban decay that’s plaguing their neighborhood in Uptown Butte.
“I know that the crime and vandalism all over town is out of control and everybody is upset about it, and I want to get people together to do something about it,” said meeting organizer Allison Andersen.
The group met in the parking lot of Benny’s Power Toys on West Iron Street and expressed concerns such as thefts, break-ins, and problems with junk vehicles and trailers in neighborhoods.
Sheriff Ed Lester and several Uptown commissioners were there to listen.
“People are getting tired and they all want to do something, but we can’t do it without getting together as a team. We’ve got to set aside our differences and look at our neighborhood. Do we really want to make it better," said Butte District 11 Commissioner Cindi Shaw.
For the time period of July 1 – 27, thefts reported to Butte Police are higher this year than in the past two years. And the number of vehicle break-ins during the same time period has also increased from 2019 through to this year.
“It’s us as a community coming together that’s going to solve this problem. But you can’t get so frustrated that you just throw up your hands and go, 'I can’t do anything about it, nobody’s listening to me,' because if we quit, it does nothing and it just gives into the problem that we have right here,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.
Neighbors say they plan to host more meetings and host a block party to keep the momentum going.