CLEVELAND - The neighborhood safety meeting was not unusual. It happens monthly, bringing together police, politicians and the community members they serve.
But the packed room was a change.
This week's meeting was the first since the murder of Stephen Halton Jr.
“This crime was so outrageous because it just hits at the core values of our city. Here's a guy that got up every day, went to work, that's what the was doing, he was on his way to work to do the right thing for his family and he's robbed and gun down? For what? For nothing?” said Ward 11 Councilman Polensek.
He said the goal of Wednesday night's meeting was to get the community engaged.
Wednesday, those in attendance listened to the latest on the investigation from Cleveland 5th District Commander, Wayne Drummond.
Drummond also shared his own personal connection to the case. On the morning Stephen Halton, Jr. was fatally shot, Drummond said, “He was coming to relieve my cousin John …and my cousin John actually called him several times looking for him so it touches a lot of lives.”
Community members had an open discussion voicing their concerns and what could be done. Councilman Polensek brought up the need for more police patrolling the streets.
Bill Savloca lives close to where the murder took place and told NewsChannel5, when it comes to the money the City of Cleveland is using to purchase red light cameras, “Why not take some of that money and put up surveillance on these street corners. They know they're bad corners. That would of, maybe that horrible murder would have been on camera but maybe those people leaving in one direction, sooner or later, would have passed one of these corners.”
Others like Jamil Wainwright said the community also needs to be looking at the long-term plan of how to rehabilitate those in trouble. “It's a senseless crime,” Wainwright said, “but like I said, you got to reach people when they're young to get their mind going in a different direction because once they get to that point there's nothing you can do.”
Pleased to at least see the interaction, Halton’s mother-in-law said quietly, “It's unfortunate that Stevie had to be the one for this to come to this.”
The family is hoping an arrest will be made soon but as of Wednesday, police did not name any suspects.
As part of stepping up their patrol, Commander Drummond said police in the 5th District will be enforcing the curfew more strictly.
For more information on the day and night curfew regarding minors, click here .