Mechanicsville residents angry about home for juveniles

By Evrod Cassimy - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - It was a packed house Thursday night in Mechanicsville as angry residents demanded answers as to why a home for troubled youth is in their neighborhood.

There were hundreds of residents from the Craney Island Estates neighborhood that wanted to know how this home for juveniles could have been established without them knowing it.

They wanted to make sure their homes and their families weren't in danger.

"You're there very seldom cause I see your car and I know who you are and I've got good spy glasses across the street," said one resident at the meeting.

Angry Hanover county residents went face to face Thursday night with county leaders and the owner of a home used as a troubled youth facility. They're mad because they didn't know what was going on in their neighborhood until recently and are concerned for their safety.

"You've got a bunch of juveniles and as we said a bunch of juveniles living together, they are just a bunch of juveniles living together and they can be a recipe for disaster," said another resident.

Sue Slayton, the homeowner, is required to live at the facility by law. At the meeting she and other facility staff explained how their business works, trying to calm the angry crowd.

"We're not going to say we're not going to get criminal kids but our kids are not, excuse me, our kids are not going to be generally coming directly from juvenile," said one of Slayton's speakers in favor of the home.

"What instances have you had since we've been in there?" said Slayton.

After much discussion, county leaders, facility staff and residents were able to agree that the home would not house aggressive or assaultive teens. Residents also agreed to report any suspicious activity to the facility staff to protect the safety of their neighborhood.

Some of the residents NBC12 spoke with seemed to be at ease with the agreement but still said they didn't get all of their questions answered.

There are no plans to move the facility out of the neighborhood because it is legal for them to operate there.

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