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Twigg Street Crime Rate Soars Above Neighboring Streets, Local Pastor Tries to Make a Difference

BROOKSVILLE – According to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report, In 2015 an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 3.9% from the 2014 estimate. In Florida, murder increased by 15.2% and Rape Increased by 1.9%. But it should be noted that if not for the horrific tragedy at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, which claimed 49 lives, the actual murder rate increase would only have been 5.1%.

There are always “Hot Spots” that law enforcement agencies deal with day to day, where criminals seem to have a grip on the community and standard policing practices have little to no effect in quelling the corruption.

Throughout Hernando County, like most other counties, the core problem facing our communities is drugs abuse. Marijuana has all but become acceptable by most resident, even though it remains illegal on both a state and federal level, but Cocaine, MDMA (molly), Heroin, Methamphetamine, and of course prescription medications is grabbing hold of our youth and destroying families.   Drug abuse, leads to drug trafficking, which leads to an increase of violent and property crimes. So, what is being done to solve the problem and who is responsible?

Twigg Street, located in south Brooksville, has become a household name with RNRF, as the number of crime stories we report continue to increase year to year. Twigg Street has, in essence, become the “New Jack City” of Brooksville, leaving residents living in fear of becoming the next victim of a violent crime.

On almost a nightly basis, drug dealers flood the intersection of Twigg Street and Martin Luther King Blvd to sell their “products” to walk-up and drive-by customers.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and Brooksville Police Department (BPD) have divided the jurisdiction in an unusual hodgepodge of street coverage (See Map Below). We asked both agencies to provide crime statics from over the last year, so that we could provide a comparison of which jurisdictions have the biggest problems. According a one year report provide by the HCSO, there were approximately 238 calls to service by Sheriff’s Deputies to Twigg Street alone. The same annual crime report provided by BPD revealed only 67 calls to service for MLK, Armstrong Street, and Ellington Ave, an area located just a few blocks away from Twigg Street.We asked HCSO Spokesperson Denise Moloney what they plan to do about the overwhelming crime problem on Twigg Street and she said “All stakeholders are coming together to initiate a plan of action to address not only criminal activity but any other needs the community may have.”

I inquired about the Sheriff’s Office Community Center, which is situated a few hundred yards from Twigg Street, and asked how HCSO could better utilize the facility. Moloney replied, “The Community Center is used as a community center for and by the members of the community.  Our COPPS and Patrol deputies have an office in there to use as needed as well.” She went on to say, “Several different organizations utilize the building on various days/times to serve the needs of the community.  Career Source Pasco/Hernando uses it two days per week also to help the unemployed gain employment.  For the most part, it is used almost daily.”

I asked about the use of social media to try and draw local youth to the facility. The Community Center has an active Facebook page but it doesn’t seem to have much traffic and only has 3 likes. I asked Moloney about the page and she said, “If there is a Facebook page, it was not created by the HCSO and it is obsolete.”

I spoke to Pastor Faith Hope Jackson of Proceeding Word Ministries who is working with members of his congregation to try and heal some of wounds within the community.

Jackson says he and about ten member of his church march down Twigg Street at least once a month and engage with residents to try and spread the word of God. Jackson says they’ve been well received by residents on Twigg Street and he plans to do more in the coming months to bring people together. Jackson says he’s out to law enforcement in hopes of working together in some capacity but says they haven’t responded. “I’m all about get something done. I would like to see not just the African American Pastors get involved but all our community leaders to join in, because it effects everyone in Brooksville. It begins with our leaders and we need to sit down at a table, pray, and set aside our differences to find a solution.”

Moloney says the Sheriff’s Office is planning operations but it the community needs to help by “If they see something, say something.” Deputies have a hard time making a difference because “Nobody wants to talk to deputies when a crime occurs – so there is not much they can do.”

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  • Go in after the shooting let them do their selfs in you want to stop it ? talking will go no where put up cameras like they have in Tampa

    Tuesday, 25 April 2017, 1:57 pm
  • Yet HCSO was out in force today in unmarked cars around Spring Hill pulling people over. Then again tickets generate revenue.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 11:09 pm
    • Ya they do it after snowbirds left.

      Tuesday, 25 April 2017, 10:23 am
    • Of course. If they patrol that area then it’s called “police harassment” and “profiling”.

      Wednesday, 26 April 2017, 7:17 am
  • its twigg street. its been like this for decades. they talked about change in this area back in the 90s and a promised cleaning up the neighborhood from all the crime. fast forward and its the same. you have all the same exact elements from low level educated criminals to a justice system that releases them asap when they snitch. Insanity is having or doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 9:44 pm
    • I guess that way, they know where the criminals are.

      Tuesday, 25 April 2017, 8:58 am
  • You’ll never change the culture of “I GET IT FOR FREE SO WHY SHOULD I WORK” IN these neighborhoods, It’s been going on for years and will continue to go on just as long as that;s the mind set.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 4:01 pm
  • What about Ft. Dade st, white trash neighborhood, DaMac, California St, Wiscon Rd, Hill N Dale. Those are all crime areas. Not just on Twigg.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 1:04 pm
    • Crime wasn’t an issue in Hill-n-Dale until it turned into the East Side Sub !!! It not only looks like Twigg st …it’s starting to have that same SMELL!!!! Go figure…. 🙂

      Monday, 24 April 2017, 4:53 pm
    • Folks in damac been jailed so much they on first name basis with leo. Dui, drugs, etc. Even dogs run loose and animal control does nothing except come around and ride thru , maybe see old pals and hold a chat fest. Kids tramp over yards, parents doing nothing but drinking. Don’t forget sex offenders.

      Monday, 24 April 2017, 8:09 pm
  • Yep…….spreading the ‘ word of God ‘ is gonna change everything . Let me know how that works out.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 12:33 pm
    • It worked so well from the dark ages on…

      Monday, 24 April 2017, 1:53 pm
  • It’s important to note that low wages, limited recreational activities, limited after school activities, a pathetic school system and park system are all associated with higher levels of drug use. There will always be those who use drugs, but hernando has a higher per capita use rate because there is no community investment and jobs here pay squat for most people.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 10:40 am
    • Agreed. And still, we continue to build car washes & fast food restaurants.

      Monday, 24 April 2017, 2:33 pm
  • Brooksville needs to bring more business into the city so maybe just maybe people will have job opportunities. What happened to the park that was supposed to be built for the kids? Never happened. Not even a slide. Theres a difference between talking about it and actually caring about the residents. Provide something for the kids WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE to keep them occupied. Provide employment. Provide a permanent career central again. These people need help not jail or criticism.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 10:23 am
    • I didn’t grow up with a park within walking distance. I didn’t grow up near a youth center. The difference is that my parents actual kept my in line. Twigg St… that’s another story.

      Wednesday, 26 April 2017, 7:30 am
  • Everyone who live over there, no let me say 80% of the people who live over there have no part of that life. Many people are teachers probably teaching some of y’all kids, nurses and coaches just to name a few. So crime happens all over Hernando County with all types of race, but people should be mindful of what they say. Why would you want to burn down a neighborhood? Help the community…

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 8:46 am
  • Send some BLM protesters there to fix the problem. It is blacks getting killed and being assaulted, right? They claim to want to stop violence against blacks, but not one blm protester found. Time to send in Jane Goodall, she has the best track record for these animals.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 8:46 am
    • BLM only applies when its a white or a cop who kills a black. They dont care about any other type of killing.

      Wednesday, 26 April 2017, 9:08 am
  • Call the real deputies when shit gets real.[seriously]Put BPD dn.there full time.You say they make less money and in the same sentence you say let them take all the risks.How about you pay them more to go down in the subs.Taking chances they are next to be shot.Ten times more Hernando deputies county wide.Take some of the ones giving the working man speeding tickets and send them down there.The problem is HCSO don’t want to lose the revenue off springhill.So Brooksville has to suffer.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 7:05 am
  • I think the HCSO is doing the best they can with what they’ve got!!! Want to end the “ongoing” problem?? BURN the area down and start over with only allowing drug free/ pre screened residents to move back in. A simple screening would be to ask other residents which non desirables do they NOT want to live next door to. ……..Too easy??? …. 🙂

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 6:41 am
    • Stupid. The families homes have been paid for for years now. Inheritance from generation to generation. Not government ran like what you live in! They can’t take these people property away from them. You go to hell!

      Monday, 24 April 2017, 1:00 pm
  • Just fence it off & put a sign on it ” ZOO”

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 4:51 am
    • The “zoo” analogy is both a good and bad one. First off the bad. A zoo is a well structured environment where the animals generally behave and foster a good family outing where its safe. Generally the segregated animals coexist is a peaceful community. In addition the zoo does not give the animals a free cellphone.
      Now for the “good” reason the zoo analogy is fitting for twigg st.
      The animals at the zoo dont work and mostly sit around all day. Every once in a while a chimp will play with him self or fling poo. While this isnt work it does provide temporary entertainment. The animals in the zoo get free food, healthcare, housing and are free to reproduce freely with out consequences. There is no incentives for the animals to be productive because everything is handed to them.
      So this is why I agree and disagree about the “Zoo” analogy.

      Monday, 24 April 2017, 9:08 am
  • I know that in Tampa when a certain area becomes a problem the Hillsborough county sheriff’s put cameras up and down the blocks on the electric polls!! And guess what it usually stopped the problem and helped the clean up process begin!!!!

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 2:08 am
  • Why don’t HCSO just do random post ups or better yet set a deputy in the area 24/7 split the shift with bpd or let the city stay posted in the area since they probably get paid less and call the real deputies of HCSO when things get real. Can’t really shut down the neighborhood without fearless enforcement.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 1:39 am
  • Not every youth feels like getting out and be social, so then they sit at home and you get this.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 12:53 am
  • You give youth a alternative, show them you understand. Help regulate, become a doctor the situation. For some what I preach may sound terrible, but youll have more control and be a heck of a lot better than this.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 12:50 am
  • Legal jobs, trade, advertisement, tourism, a new hope for hopeless

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 12:40 am
  • Thats where taxes, regulations. And then community building can begin. A share of morals, common courtesy, a sense of purpose.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 12:38 am
  • Marijuana dealers make money because of risks, what they do with the money can be detrimental. Eliminate the risk theirs no money to be made other than growers, if dealers still make money theyre in it for the wrong reasons. The biggest threat is that outside growers make money versus locals, locals who get pot will always have a means from outside entities. And then you can’t always trust the motive. Its best to be home grown.

    Monday, 24 April 2017, 12:30 am
  • The reason the sheriff’s office had 238 calls on Twigg Street is because they don’t patrol the area. Next time you do a public records request ask for how many times a patrol car was on Twigg just patrolling the area. I bet you will find that there are nights when they don’t even put in an appearance in this high crime area.

    Sunday, 23 April 2017, 11:59 pm
    • Probably because the police get shot at when they drive through there. It’s obvious that the problem is the people living there. You can’t help people who won’t help themselves. It’s called uneducated generational poverty. It will never change.

      Monday, 24 April 2017, 12:52 pm
  • You must be a part of the problem to understand the problems and variables so you can offer solutions. Can’t always solve problems from the outside looking in, you’ll never understand.

    Sunday, 23 April 2017, 11:45 pm
  • For perscription drugs if you get them illegally then you must not have approval from a doc. Marijuana has been refused to be seen as medicine. Its all about who has it in their hands. Not saying street dealers of marijuana are docs but atleast theirs a non harmful view. Business people look for profit so they don’t help communities either. The real plan should be registered associates with the sheriff office to control said outcomes of this battle going on.

    Sunday, 23 April 2017, 11:19 pm

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