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Probation office move into neighborhood upsets Petersburg residents

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PETERSBURG, Va. – Residents and city council members are upset after the office for the Department of Corrections Probation was relocated into a residential area.

" Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham said it was “completely inappropriate.”

The Mayor said that while the state-owned building, on Park Avenue, just one block off Crater Road, was empty -- it is no place for this type of office.

"They are dealing with people who are, some are pedophiles, some are ex-cons and we do not want to have them here beside this apartment building to my left, apartments to my right -- and we have houses about 200 feet from where we are standing right now,” Parham said.

Discussion of the proposed move from Dinwiddie County to Petersburg was first heard a few months ago.

The current site is just over the city limits line on West Washington, the move would be due to the property being sold.

One problem is many living in the apartments and homes adjacent to the site are unaware of the proposal.

"I think it's wrong," Linard Daniels said, standing next to his wife in the parking lot of the proposed building.

Their biggest concern is the children living in the neighborhood.

"This is their bus stop and they live here, right across the street where they're going to place this facility," says Daniels.

The apartments on each side of the building are owned by David Wayner.

"I'm totally against it," Wayner said. "Of course they need to be somewhere but not in a residential area. There are plenty of empty commercial areas in Petersburg and elsewhere that would be conducive to that type of use.”

Mayor Parham said similar attempts to move to a new location in Dinwiddie County and in Chesterfield County were stopped by county officials.