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Residents Walk to Park in the Name of Safety

A Rosemont Community Walk on Saturday drew residents concerned about crime.

As the sound of cheering little league fans filled Saturday, a man stood on a bench and lifted a megaphone to his lips.

He wasn't a politician or public official, but he thanked the dozens crowded around for coming to the event he helped plan.

Rosemont resident Jon Hines helped to organize a Saturday, encouraging families to show solidarity by walking to the park that last month was the site of a brutal homicide.

"If you're here, you care [about safety in Rosemont]," Hines told the crowd.

Rosemont Community Foundation President Gary Vorce encouraged attendees to give Hines a standing ovation for organizing the event, and said recent events have inspired residents to get involved in their community.

"I think Rosemont has always been here, we just needed a wakeup call," Vorce said.

Hines shrugged off the attention, saying he doesn't want the focus to be on himself. He said he plans to organize another community walk in June, but hopes someone will eventually take the reigns from him.

"The more it grows, the more you'll meet people who live closer to you and the more inclined you'll be to look out for each other," Hines said. "If everybody can just do what they can, do a little bit, it'll go a long way."

Keith LaMar said was the tipping point to "raise awareness in the community," encouraging people to "bind together and be more aware."

He said he was glad to come to the park and meet people who share interests in keeping Rosemont safe.

Longtime resident Richard Shell said recent events have made him want to start a neighborhood watch group on his street.

"Just in the last few weeks it seems like a lot has been happening," Shell said. "All that combined has put me and my family a little on edge."

Rob Slusser, who has lived in Rosemont for almost 14 years, said he's not sure if crime has increased or if he's just been hearing about it more.

"If everybody's aware–if we know what's going on, we can help each other out," Slusser said.

Cordova Recreation and Park District Board of Directors member Rick Sloan was in attendance along with several district staffers.

"We never lost the park," Sloan said. "It's not a matter of taking the park back."

He said the community has been more vocal about issues surrounding the park, and he plans to "take your concerns back to the district."

Sloan said the district is exploring ways to "beef up the lighting" in the park, as well as the idea of holding more activities there.

"We do the movies in the park, why couldn't we do Tai Chi in the park?" he said.

, a Problem-Oriented Policing Officer who works in Rosemont and Rancho Cordova, said the heightened communication in Rosemont helps him do his job.

He cited recent events where neighbors have reached out to him about an ongoing problem: a home on Sutters Gold Drive that had a , and loiterers in front of 7-Eleven whom Neff recognized from residents' complaints and arrested on drug possession charges four or five months ago.

"It's full speed ahead," Neff said of communication in Rosemont between residents and law enforcement.

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