The Parkview Dilemma
November 12, 2020
Parkview has a problem. A big one. According to Monroe Mayor, Friday Ellis, it is one that has been a thorn in the city's side for the last twenty years. In a press release, the mayor said, "The situation at Parkview is deplorable and has put a tremendous strain on the residents and law enforcement". Friday continued by adding that, "The safety and security of the residents of Parkview is our number one priority. We believe that it is time for the owners to take whatever steps necessary to do their part to put a stop to crime in this complex and protect the health and safety of their residents". The mayor's comments come on the heels following a meeting between city officials and law enforcement agencies that included the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, the Monroe Police Department and outgoing Congressman (5th District), Ralph Abraham. At that meeting, it was reported that the owner identified as Standard Enterprises was told(stressed), that "violence and criminal activity" at the complex must end and demanded action from Parkview proprietors. The apartment complex has been called a "public nuisance" because of "prohibitive activities" that have occurred at the complex. Prohibitive activity is defined as a "crime of violence, any crime involving illegal carrying or discharge of a weapon, felony theft or illegal possession of stolen things, and also the illegal manufacture, sale or distribution of, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute, a controlled dangerous substance". A look at the history of incidents that were criminal in nature, clearly shows that activities involving fire arms and drugs has gone on repeatedly over the years. In 2020 alone, there has been 11 killings including a recent one this month and numerous reports of firearm violations, armed robberies, drug/narcotic arrests and assaults and batteries. To that end, the city has put the owners of the complex "on notice", telling them that they have 60 days to bring the complex into what the state considers a safe affordable housing or else, we (the city) will "move forward and turn this over and file a grievance under a public nuisance". The owner (Standard Enterprises) is expected to present a proposal soon, but as of press time, no plan has materialized. No one is about to dispute or argue that something needs to be done about the crime problem in Parkview. While not outlining the specifics on how the city plans to implement any actions except to say that a petition will be filed through court intervention. Does that mean that the city will "take control" of the operating procedures at Parkview? In a statement, the city says that, "if changes are not made immediately to end prohibited activities in Parkview Apartments, the City will have no choice but to seek to force that change through the court system". Monroe Police Chief Vic Zordan told city council members at the last city council meeting after he was approved to be the newest police chief, that he would address the Parkview situation, and in his current statement, said that "multiple stakeholders will be involved" if we are to make a significant difference to address violent crime.