HUNTS POINT - Hunts Point residents say the long-downtrodden area is turning itself around.

While crime is still slightly higher than in other Bronx precincts, NYPD Capt. Donald McHugh says there has been a 30 percent drop in felonies since he took over the Hunts Point region in February.

He credits community involvement for helping police to reduce crime. McHugh also says he has made a point of holding his officers more accountable in addressing quality-of-life issues.

"Often small issues ? escalate into bigger issues," says Roberto S. Garcia, a member of Community Board 2.

Community Board 2 members say Hunts Point is getting safer and that many in the community have noticed the difference.

McHugh says one goal moving forward is to focus on juvenile crimes, such as the stealing of electronics and cell phones.