RRHA to unveil new plan to make public housing communities safer

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority will soon implement a plan to make public housing communities safer.

Since the shooting death of Special Agent Michael Walter, we’ve learned that Travis Ball, the man suspected of shooting him, was living illegally in Mosby Court where Walter was shot. Now, RRHA is working to evict the person that allowed him to live there. Since then more residents have come forward with information about other people who shouldn’t be living there.

“I mean it is very encouraging,” Carol Jones-Gilbert with RRHA said. You know, I tell residents you live there, it’s your home.”

Jones-Gilbert gave 8News a firsthand look at a program they’ve been working on but have yet to officially unveil to try and make those communities safer.

A new initiative called “CARES” will soon be underway. It will include physical improvements including signs and security at homes, improvements to the lighting at Mosby Court and surveillance cameras.

In addition, they will continue to work on engaging with residents through community watch programs and tip lines.

“We have an anonymous info line they can send stuff to, they can call, they can drop us a note, whatever means it takes for them to feel they can share that information with us,” Jones-Gilbert said.

Jones says that the community will have to be involved for things to get better.

“If you’re not a willing participant then it makes our job even harder. It can’t just be law enforcement, it can’t just be RRHA, it takes all of us actively working together,” said Jones-Gilbert.

She says she’s encouraged by the amount of resident engagement she’s seen since Walter’s death and believes it will lead to better communities and better lives for the residents living there.

“Just to see that people are willing to come forward and that they actively want to partner with us in making a change,” said Jones-Gilbert.

RRHA have not said when CARES will be implemented. They are still taking suggestions from board members and the community.

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