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Police chief wants to use donation for Park Hill community outreach; council to vote
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On Tuesday, the Gainesville City Council will vote on a donation to the Gainesville Police that will fund outreach efforts, as well as an office for a security company on Thompson Bridge Road.


Donation will fund police outreach

The Gainesville Police Department receives an annual donation from Norfolk Southern, a railroad that runs through the city. Chief Jay Parrish wants to use this year’s $2,000 donation for community outreach in the Park Hill drive area.

Police have increased their presence along Park Hill Drive after a fatal shooting on Feb. 7 in the CVS Pharmacy parking lot and an armed robbery on Feb. 12 at the Texaco.

Parrish said that while police have increased enforcement efforts, they also want to reach out to residents. Plans include picnics and educational programs at the local apartment complexes.

“We really want to build some connections in those apartments and with those residents so that they feel more free to let us know what is going on,” Parrish said.

The council will vote Tuesday to accept Norfolk Southern’s donation.

The Newtown Florist Club, a civil rights organization in Gainesville, is hosting a community meeting March 4 to discuss the increased police presence along Park Hill Drive. 

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From left, Lt. Tommy McElroy, Investigator Brad Raper and Chief Jay Parrish gather near the entrance of the Park Hill Drive CVS Pharmacy Feb. 7. Police were called to investigate the shooting death of Jack Hough. - photo by Nick Watson
Security office on Thompson Bridge Road

Council members will also vote on rezoning a house on Thompson Bridge Road so it can be converted into an office for a security company.

The house at the intersection with Springview Drive has been unoccupied for several years. Three employees are expected to work at the building, and five to eight security officers would be periodically trained there.

The Planning and Appeals Board recommended approval for the request to rezone from Residential-I to Neighborhood-Business.


Gainesville City Council

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5

Where: Public Safety Complex, 701 Queen City Parkway

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