41°F
Sponsored by

Neighborhood Under Siege: The History

Drugs. Crime. Poverty. It's no secret Utica’s Cornhill neighborhood has a troublesome and violent reputation. But why? And perhaps more importantly - what's being done about it?
Drugs. Crime. Poverty. It's no secret Utica’s Cornhill neighborhood has a troublesome and violent reputation. But why? And perhaps more importantly - what's being done about it?

"It's a bad area, that's all I hear," says Candice Tripoli, of Chadwicks.

"Trouble...because when I was younger I lived in the city and in that area there was always trouble so I guess it just automatically comes to mind," says Dee Firley, of Whitesboro.

But why does Cornhill have this reputation? Some believe that abandonment has left the area with no opportunity

"Most of the major businesses in the area...Griffiss Air Force Base, GE, had all left the area. The only jobs that were available were people that would go to Syracuse or out," says Rodney Yearby, of Utica.

Yearby was born and raised in Utica. He grew up in Cornhill. He says a lack of jobs and programs leave little distraction from the drugs and violence in the area and this wasn't the case when he was growing up.

"We had places to go and play. We had activities to do. Proctor Park was huge you could play baseball and run around. You could have picnics. There were all types of places for activities. And they're all gone now,” he explains.

Yearby says there's a major disconnect that causes a lot of problems in Cornhill: the community and the police. Last week there was a Cornhill community meeting. During the meeting the police representative took notes. But Yearby says the community doesn't know what that means for the future of Cornhill.

"We don't know what they did. We don't know what's to come from the complaints that were made,” he says. “You got people who are afraid to walk somewhere and do something but they're also afraid to call the police. You know they don't have a good relationship with the police so it's darned if you do and darned if you don't."

Friday we reached out to the Utica Police Department on the issue. We were promised an interview with Chief Williams on Monday. That interview was cancelled this morning. We are waiting word on when - and if - it will be rescheduled.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus