Police escort coming for mail delivery to apartment complex

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The United States Postal Service restored mail delivery to an Athens apartment on Thursday. It had been suspended because of concerns regarding crime.

Once service was stopped, workers at Bethel Midtown Village started picking up the mail to sort it. But, that became too much. Those who wanted their deliveries had to go to the main post office to pick it up. That became a problem for some residents.

“I did not go to the post office at all to pick up my mail because I had no transportation,” said Duewa Welsch. “It had been like that for [about] a month.”

Frustration settled in.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, 10,” said Terrinesha Stevens. “Because it's like once you've got business to handle, you gotta handle business.”

People who live here say it started about a week before June 25 letter went up noting a “rash of crime.”

“An employee of the management in a conversation with the postal carrier described the property as dangerous or challenging and that led the postal carrier to become concerned and back off of delivery for a number of days,” said Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz. “I believe it was absolutely overreacting.”

The mayor does say a few crimes, including shootings, had been reported at Bethel Midtown Village earlier in the year.

On Thursday, Athens-Clarke County Police escorted the mail carrier to the complex.

“I thought that was just extremely wrong,” said Welsh. “The crime is not bad where they have to be escorted with cops to put mail in the mailbox.”

Mayor Girtz said the return to service followed talks between his office, the police chief, and the postal service.

“We're talking about 190 families and those families have day-in, day-out needs. And, those needs ought to be satisfied by things that are public services,” says Mayor Girtz.

Welsh is glad to see service restored, but is not pleased with the shadow cast over those who call the complex home.

“Children out here playing every day on the playground, running around the neighborhood and I'm quite sure if their mom thought it was bad or their parents, they wouldn't allow their kids outside,” Welsh told FOX 5's Kerry Charles.

Mayor Girtz said it's not clear how long that police-escort will remain in effect. He does not think it is needed permanently.