Community, Police Collaborate to Make McClatchy Park Safer

OAK PARK -- McClatchy Park has been the scene of shootings, drug deals and assaults.

But it's also a place for kids to play and neighbors to just hang out and feel safe.

Joany Titherington has headed the Farmers Market at McClatchy since 2011 and is a third generation to the Oak Park community. She has seen both good and bad over the years there and has been a victim of assault.

"We need to learn how to respect each other and be good neighbors to one another," Titherington said. "I think that overall is what's most important about this."

Sacramento police hope Wednesday night's meeting will bring fresh ideas from community leaders and members, which they say they'll implement with the end goal of making McClatchy safe for everyone.

Buford has lived through the changes to the neighborhood over the years.

"I'm born and raised. My people have been in Northern California since 1855," Buford told FOX40. "I've been in this park 68 years and I seen how it's been changed."

He says change starts with police not seeing all black people as those who they can stop just because of the color of their skin.

"Used to be police that you could talk to and you had a misunderstanding with them they would take off their badge and guns and get 'em up with you," Buford said.

With the new housing construction in the area, some longtime residents say they're not being treated fairly.

"The establishment they are a favoritism to the new homeowners and the people that have come around," said George Jackson III. "They are ostracizing us that have been here and grew up here. And then they're targeting us like we're the criminals or the outsiders, and it's not right."

For Jesse Richardson, he says he sought out skate parks and McClatchy's looked safe and inviting for his young siblings to enjoy.

"Maybe a little more public safety in regards to the needles and stuff like that being found around here. But then again, that's like all over," Richardson said. "That's kind of like a city-wide thing. If they're gonna crack down a little bit on that, that'd be great."