2011-10-28 / News

Forest Acres Association president has served seven years

By Josh Cruse

Brian Thomas Brian Thomas The Forest Acres Neighborhood Association has been in existence for seven years, and for seven years one man, Brian Thomas, has been leading the association,

Thomas, a resident of the Forest Acres area for 25 years, has one main focus for his community and that is crime prevention, which stems from an incident that hit real close to home for him.

In 2004, Thomas’s sister was robbed in her carport. Because of that crime, the Forest Acres Neighborhood Association was formed. “It has everything to do with our crime watch. Over the last few months, it’s been a project we’ve got a hold of and tried to revive. There’s always been crime watch areas, but they’ve kind of died down. We’ve taken that and made it a huge initiative within the neighborhood association. Hopefully the more people that are watching, the safer the neighborhood will be,” Thomas said.

Recently, Thomas helped form a crime watch for Forest Acres. As of the September 20 neighborhood meeting, the crime watch had 24 block captains. Something that helps strengthen the crime watch for Forest Acres is the relationship the community has with the Forest Acres Police Department, an integral part according to Thomas. “It’s extremely important. We just want to help our city be better. We have a great working relationship with the mayor and the council and the police department.”

The neighborhood association meetings have grown from a room with 10 to 15 people to nearly a room full in 2011. Not only does the neighborhood association meetings help keep the residents informed on the crime in the area, but it provides the residents with an opportunity to meet people who are important to Forest Acres.

In 2010, when it was announced that a new group had purchased Richland Mall, Thomas invited a representative to speak with residents about the plans for the mall. Thomas has seen the impact the mall has had on the community. “It has been real sad [to see the ups and downs of the mall]. I remember that mall flourishing in years past and hope to see it flourishing again. I think that it is discouraging to our residents to see such a prime piece of real estate sit basically empty.”

Thomas also says he has faith that the current owners can turn the fortunes of the mall around.

In January, Thomas invited Forest Acres Administrator Shaun Greenwood to speak about the donut holes that exist in the area and how they can be annexed into the community, a project that Thomas is still working on.

Thomas also wants to see the crime watch blossom to a point where the entire city is involved.

When he is not involved with neighborhood association matters, Thomas is the pastor of Northstar Christian Center on Longtown Road. He is also involved with school councils at A.C. Flora High School and Crayton Middle School.

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