Neighbors living in a low income Broken Arrow
community are upset over recent gang-related graffiti. On Monday morning the words similar to “South Side” appeared painted in black on the entire front side of a vacant mobile home in the Camino Villa trailer park.
Camino Villa is home to hundreds of residents and located south of the Broken Arrow Expressway and 71st Street
Allen Clary has lived in the mobile home park for eight years. He grew up in a dangerous part of Los Angeles and has never wanted to feel that same fear as he did as a child. The graffiti made him think things good get worse if he did not do anything about it.
“We don’t want to take back our neighborhood; we want to be the neighborhood that prevents having to take it back, more pro-active than reactive,” said Clary.
Clary’s 20-year-old daughter is pregnant with twins. She lives four mobile home trailers away from where the vandalism happened.
“I came home from work and I’m like ‘Oh my God no!’ I don’t want it here,” said Tiffany Clary. “I don’t want this here; this is where I’m going to be raising my babies.”
Broken Arrow police are aware of gang presence in the city but explain that gangs are not entrenched there. Broken Arrow is ranked as one of the safest cities to live in the state.
“People often talk about how there is a gang presence in Broken Arrow, and there is from time to time,” said Sgt. Mark Irwin. “There’s the Crips and the Bloods, many gangs, MS13, other taggings in the city.”
Sgt. Irwin also said at the last National Night Out, in August of 2011, 200 Camino Villa residences participated. National Night Out is an event to encourage people to get to know their neighbors.
“Some of that is kind of lost nowadays, getting to know your neighbors, knowing what is suspicious, what’s not suspicious,” said Irwin.
Sgt. Irwin also said if the property owner signs a release then the city will clean up the graffiti on his property. Neighbors have also reported people throwing rocks into windows of their homes in Camino Villa. Sgt. Irwin encourages residences to always report vandalism of any kind to police.