Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Northaven - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Joe Birch

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Northaven

Northaven has had a rough month of May.  A star high school athlete was shot and wounded after a playground argument in the North Shelby County community.

Deputies said another young man intentionally unleashed a pit bull on an innocent passer-by.

But Northaven is no "crime-haven", according to people who work mightily on Taking Back Our Neighborhoods.

Penny Pantry has a Northaven monopoly. It is the only store and gas station around. Long time neighbors like Gale Millen stop by. 

"Everybody don't see Northaven as a good neighborhood but I do," Millen said.

Northaven sits just beyond Memphis city limits near Frayser, just south of Shelby Forest. A place set apart from the rest of Shelby County. 

"There are two or three hotspots in the county that have traditionally given us trouble and that's one of them," Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell said.

Despite the recent shooting and pit bull attack, Sheriff Mark Luttrell said Northaven crime is down from last year.        

"We've enhanced our enforcement in the area, trying to put more people down there to actually catch the bad guys and gals. But equally important, we've put a tremendous emphasis on education," Luttrell said.

The Sheriff said his deputies fight gangs, drug dealers, and absentee landlords who neglect property. While you can find an eyesore here and there, rolling through Northaven you see mostly well kept homes and yards: 

"We've got 3 patrol cars out here all the time," resident Leah Strickland said.

Northaven neighborhood watch leaders like Strickland said parents need to keep better tabs on their children.

"I mean a lot of these people don't know where their kids are," Strickland said.     

Gale Millen said Northaven desperately needs a community center. A place where kids can learn and play in safety.

"They need a safe place to reside in. I am not saying a day care to drop them off. I'm talking about stuff to get involved in," Millen said.

Residents said they will invite county commissioners to visit Northaven, see the need for a community center and help take back this neighborhood, giving kids more to do than visiting Penny Pantry.

The next meeting of concerned Northaven citizens comes up June 17th and they're inviting the three county commissioners who represent the district.

Click here to e-mail Joe Birch.

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