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North and South: Part II

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Is law enforcement keeping too close of an eye on Twin City residents living south of Interstate 20?In our first special report, "North and South",  we headed south where residents shared their concerns over stagnant economic development and what they called overbearing law enforcement. But is life really any better north of the highway? Local leaders respond to our residents' concerns.

Perceptions of a boom on the north and bust on the south are perceptions twin city leaders say simply are not true.

"When you look at the facts and most of the terms of the number of services we provide, most of the those are on the south side," Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said.

Mayo is speaking about a string of drainage projects along with the boom in business near I-20 and even placing a $4 million Public Safety Center in South Monroe.

"I hear it all the time," the mayor said." 'You don't do anything for the south side, we're left out or we're not treated the same.' But I the mayor of the city of Monroe live on the south side."

Ouachita Parish Police Juror Pat Moore believes improving the South Monroe area begins at home.

"We have to show a sense of pride in our community. We have to clean it up," Moore said.

Parish and city leaders say they're constantly aiming to improve the quality of life in the area. But they are expressing their concerns as well.  

Moore is aiming to work with residents to toss out the litter problem. She said parish leaders are spending federal grant dollars on sidewalks and that little step may be the path to a boom in business.

"Then we're going to be able to keep the businesses that we have here, then we're going to be able to draw new businesses, especially on 165 South," Moore said.

Over in West Monroe, Chief Christopher Elg is responding to residents who say they're given the cold shoulder from officers.

"We're certainly open to improving upon our service," Elg said.

But the chief said many negative claims against officers are false he points out each cruiser contains a camera.

"They review the video and they often walk away and say that's not what my son or daughter said occurred," the chief said.

Elg said when the officers are out patrolling, that's a good sign. He went on to say that's why the overall crime rate is down in the city of West Monroe.

And we'd like to hear your thoughts share them on our KNOE 8 News Facebook Page or on our website. Here's the link to our Fan Page: News Facebook.

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