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Police presence increased at Long Beach housing complex

Pastor William H. Fuller, along with community members

Pastor William H. Fuller, along with community members and religious leaders, rally outside the Channel Park public housing complex in the North Park neighborhood of Long Beach on Sept. 29, 2014. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Long Beach police have increased patrols at a troubled low-income housing complex where a Long Beach man was shot and killed early Saturday.

Residents at the Channel Park public housing complex in the North Park neighborhood held a small demonstration at the complex Monday calling for police intervention and improved security.

Tyrenzo Brown, 28, was killed just before 1 a.m. Saturday in front of a home on Birch Court off Centre Street at the Channel Park apartments. Nassau County homicide detectives have not released details about the killing. As of late Monday no arrests had been made.

The housing complex of 108 apartments is under federal control and is not managed by the city. It was recently passed over for its portion of a $5 million grant for security lights and cameras from the Department of Housing and Urban Development pushed by Sen. Charles Schumer. Schumer's office said the senator is working on other grants and funding to pay for the improvements.

Channel Park has about a dozen cameras, but needs more surveillance and lighting for the 13 buildings and the five-acre campus, Long Beach Housing Authority director Paul Goodman said. The agency has met with vendors for cameras, but doesn't have the $250,000 in needed funding.

Police have traced several shootings in the complex where residents have had parties and invited guests suspected of causing problems, Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said.

"The residents are inviting questionable people and have to deal with those offenders. It's a problem element that residents aren't tolerant of," Tangney said. "The lightning rod is the location of this homicide. It's the third time shots have been fired at that location."

Police met with a group of residents and clergy members Monday to offer different strategies to deal with the violence. Police said they plan to work with the Long Beach Housing Authority to evict problematic tenants.

The housing authority and the North Park Crisis Team, a civic group, have also increased security by requiring visitors to show ID and be accompanied by residents. Since Friday, police have dedicated additional officers in the neighborhood at night.

Housing Authority officials plan to revise their screening process to look at criminal background in addition to income eligibility.

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