Posted 4:27 PM 9/29/2012 : Teens working with police to make 36th Street trailhead better place
TUCSON-Students from Cholla High School worked side-by-side with police and deputies Saturday morning, cleaning up a west side neighborhood.
The joint effort is leading to cooperation between teens and law enforcement.
The area has been tagged by graffiti and there is trash everywhere left behind by people here to party, but these teens are here trying to show a good example by keeping the area clean.
The graffiti got a hose down, beer bottles got canned and rubbers tossed.
"So much trash. I didn't know it was that ugly out here," said teen Analy De La Garza.
Valerie Gonzales and some of her fellow Cholla High School classmates are dedicating their weekend to cleaning up this mess.
"It's dangerous for the hikers and for people that are walking around," said Gonzales.
Once a peaceful hiking spot, 36th Street Trailhead has become a popular spot for teen parties.
"Loud parties. We've had calls of shots being fired," said Tucson police officer Erin Winas.
Now that a cleanup movement has started, neighbors hope discouraged hikers can reclaim their ground.
"Come back. We need those people to come back. Enjoy it again," said Nina Borgia-Aberle, who lives in the neighborhood.
Police are bridging gaps with youth, working side-by-side cleaning up this area and calling on them to take responsibility for their community.
"The youth figures that the police don't care and with them communicating with us letting us know that they do care. It helps," said Gonzales.
Police will be monitoring the area to prevent it from becoming an illegal dumping and partying ground.
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