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Police Presence Downtown Debated by Task Force

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This afternoon a group of about a dozen people were sitting or lying down on the sidewalk on East Kirkwood Avenue, alongside shopping carts full of belongings and various other items. The group congregated in front of the site where construction crews are building a new boutique hotel, The Graduate. At least some members of the group have been regular patrons of Peoples Park, just a few blocks away, but an increased police presence at the park has moved them down the street. Other regular Park patrons, many of whom are experiencing homelessness, have reportedly begun spending more time in Seminary Square park, several blocks to the south. In today’s WFHB community report, we hear from a member of a task force that recommended the new police patrols downtown. Forrest Gilmore has expressed concern about the new patrols, but some optimism about other work done by the task force. Besides Gilmore, the mayor’s task force also included local attorney William Beggs, Bloomington Police Chief Michael Diekhoff, real estate agent Donald Griffin, Centerstone administrator Linda Grove-Paul, and several others. Gilmore spoke with WFHB News Director Joe Crawford.

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