DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Neighbors from a West Dayton community met Thursday night to find solutions to their top safety concerns identified from a survey sent to residents earlier this summer.

Around two dozen Westwood neighbors, leaders and business owners met at the Dayton Metro Library on Abbey Avenue to voice their concerns.

“We’ve got to take better care of our allies. It’s just too much illegal dumping,” Westwood resident Antonio Ford said.

Ford has lived in Westwood for 42 years. He has taken on the responsibility on his street to keep two lots clean.

“I’m not asking for anything, I just keep it clean,” Ford said. “It makes our side of the street looks good and makes the whole block looks good.”

After a survey was mailed and several block parties, results found Westwood neighbors’ top crime safety concerns are traffic and speeding, gun violence, drug use, burglaries, public intoxication and noise.

The survey also included quality of life concerns, like abandoned properties, loose dogs, and lack of youth activities, green space and code enforcement.

“They would like to see people walking the streets again, they would like to see neighbors knowing neighbors and coming out,” University of Dayton Criminal Justice and Security Studies Chair Martha Hurley said.

Residents also provided ideas and solutions to the issues they’re facing, like increased police presence, more community block parties, establishing block-level leaders and creating after school activities for youth.

The feedback from Thursday’s meeting and the survey responses will be presented to the Dayton Police Department, city commissioners and the Dayton Human Relations Council to see what they can do to help.

“It was so refreshing to see residents engage in this entire process from the beginning, and then you had the block party events,” Dayton Human Relations Council Deputy Director Joann Mawasha said. “They definitely came out and shared their concerns.”

Those leading the community conversations said it’s not just up to city officials to create these changes.

“It’s a process where residents identify what are their top priorities and what would they like to see done and what are they willing to do?” Hurley said.

After Thursday night’s meeting, Ford did just that, signing up to be a block captain.

“I would encourage other people to get involved,” Ford said. “You know, it’s your block, your neighborhood, why not do a little extra?”

The community conversations aren’t done yet, there will be another block party on September 17 at Westwood Elementary from 2 to 4 p.m. Then at a block party on October 8th, reponses from officials will be shared.