Reporter: Sarah Bloom
Danville, VA - Officials in Danville say the first phase of their Safe and Sound Neighborhood program was so successful, they're expanding.
The program started in November, with a concentrated effort by several city agencies to clean up crime, blight, and other problems in hard-hit areas of the city.
Police made hundreds of arrests leading to a significant reduction in crime. Now, they're taking-on the southern part of Danville.
"Some strange people come through here and they stop and they don't even live here. Neither one of these houses," said Willie Richardson, who lives in the new target areas.
It's one reason he's glad he'll be seeing more police officers on his street "keep down crime." Other residents feel the same way.
"We do notice some crime in the area. Even on this street, so yes, increased police activity would be great in the neighborhood," said Christle Fallen.
The expanded Safe and Sound Neighborhood program will include the region bound by the Downtown, Industrial Avenue, South Main Street, Memorial Drive, and the Jefferson Street area.
"We looked at some crime numbers, we looked at some homicide rates, so we were able to plot where some of the most common crimes were occurring," said Major Edward Burke with the Danville Police Department.
"We want to make sure all of our neighborhoods are safe. This goes a long way toward making the quality of life in the whole city better," added Deputy City Manager David Parrish.
It's a task police and residents say they're ready for.
"Have an impact on street level violence, street level crime and take these people out of the equation," said Burke.
"I think this is a wonderful idea to increase security in the neighborhood so that neighbors can feel safer, so that children can have a safer place to play. That is a great idea," added Fallen.
There will be projects by several agencies to clean up the look of the area and reach out with other forms of support.
They also say they don't want to lose the ground they've already made, so they'll have a continued presence on the north side of town too.