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Public housing complex gets curfew

A 9 p.m. curfew could be the answer to curbing the "drug and prostitution problem" at Kemp Harrison Homes on Memorial Terrace, so says the Warner Robins Housing Authority.

"When was the last time you've had a curfew in your life?" I asked Louis Davis, a tenant.

"When I was 18 years old in Perry, Georgia," Davis said.

Now 64, Davis says he wants to be treated like it.

"That statement, 9 o'clock curfew, is wrong to me. It's violating my rights. I'm a grown man," Davis said.

But Davis is no stranger to problems at Kemp Harrison.

He's been living for four years at the public housing complex for seniors.

"It's rough. The drug dealers, the prostitutes, the drinking, people moving in and out that don't live here. Those are the people causing problems," Davis said.

Davis says he'd prefer security guards patrolling the complex instead of a curfew.

After a 33-year-old man died from a stabbing at Kemp Harrison over the weekend, Sheryl Frazier, executive director of the city's Housing Authority, says change is long overdue.

"This is for the good of the people who live here," Frazier said.

Frazier says the rules were created to keep troublemakers out rather than to box tenants in.

"That 9 o'clock curfew doesn't mean tenants have to be shut in their apartment. They can be on their balconies, on their porches, but they can't be congregating in groups," Frazier said.

Frazier says those who don't want to abide by the rules have a choice.

"This isn't prison," she said. "People have the right to move."

Frazier says the curfew will be added to tenants' leases.

Those who break it face possible consequences, including arrest.

Though many tenants told me they want freedom to come and go without checking the time, some say it could help turn things around at a crime-ridden complex.

"It's a good idea," 20-year-old Angel Williams said. "It'll save less drama, save less killings, less robberies, it'll make everybody more safer."

Because even if neighbors can't agree on a curfew, safety is a common concern.

Frazier says the Authority is working with the city's police department to enforce the curfew, as well as start up a neighborhood watch program at the apartments.

Captain John Clay with the city's Neighborhood Watch Program says you can report suspicious activity by calling 478-322-0260.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh and on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.


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