Positive change in downtown Sheffield

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) -  The "zero-tolerance" message from the mayor of Sheffield seemed to have made an impact in the downtown area.

Reports show crowds that were once rowdy and uncontrollable late at night seem to have settled down for the time being.

"I don't know if we'll ever know that it's over," explained Mayor Ian Sanford.

Two weeks ago, officers reported unruly crowds and even some dangerous gun activity. They held a public meeting to see if they could help calm things down, and warn trouble makers to stay out-of-town.

"We've beefed up our patrol and paid some folks overtime to have them visible. We've got some foot patrol out."

That's the solution so far, and it seems to be working. Every Monday night, the Mayor gets a report from the police department outlining activities and any problems that happened in the downtown area over the weekend. The most recent report says,"very few problems, a fairy good night," and in their opinion the zero-tolerance policy in Sheffield is spreading.

The Mayor said he can't promise it's a permanent solution, but it's a positive change so far.

"We're going to continue with this and hopefully they've gotten the message because there's not a whole lot of people that would enjoy getting a four or five hundred-dollar fine."

The police report did show crowds are still large in some locations, but they haven't reported any serious crime in the downtown area since the public meeting.

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