Wisconsin News

Apartment turning around its reputation for crime

LA CROSSE, Wis. - A La Crosse apartment complex overrun by crime appears to be turning around its reputation.

Back in October, News 8 investigated how 1321 S. Fourth St., an eight-unit complex, is known as a hot spot for shootings, drug deals and car thefts.

Just a few months ago, police gave the landlord multiple chronic nuisance tickets because they were called out there so often.

Since then, some residents say there have been a lot of changes.

Police say they haven't had an arrest at the building in the past month.

Neighbor Jason Devine said it's like someone threw a switch.

"It has been 100 percent turnaround from what we've gone through the last two years versus the last two months of life around here. It's night and day," said Devine.

He hasn't had to dial 911 to report any incidents at the apartment complex in his backyard since October.


"It went from four or five a night to zero," said Devine.

Police have been stepping up their patrols in the area and doing walk-throughs of the complex a few times a week.

Aric Elmore has lived there for five months, and he said he's glad to see police keeping an eye on things.

"It's good that they come around here and make sure everything's OK, because I've got three daughters," said Elmore. "The trouble is gone, and that's a good thing. Kids can come out and play."

Elmore and other residents say several tenants who were causing problems or who had guests who were making trouble have been kicked out.

La Crosse police Lt. Pat Hogan said the landlord gave the Police Department permission to charge anyone who isn't supposed to be on the property with trespassing.

"I think the landlord and the property owner has done a concerted effort on making sure that his tenants are following the rules and that people that aren't supposed to be there aren't hanging around," said Hogan.

Devine said he thinks the change has stemmed from the public becoming more aware of the problem.

"We went round and round with the Police Department and City Council and mayor for two years. Nothing happened. You guys show up; we live in peace," said Devine.

The chronic nuisance tickets the landlord was hit with several months ago still have not been paid. Hogan said that's because they are still in the court process.

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