"Officers came to the house one day looking for a fugitive and ended up having to shoot a dog that was specifically trained to attack police on sight," he said.
Weintraub is not concerned about safety at the park after it is opened. Nearby residents will keep an eye on the property and notify officers if they see any problems, he said.
The park will be closed at night, but lights will remain on so officers can see if anyone is on the grounds, Weintraub said.
The fact that officers will be able to see the grounds from the road also will serve to make the area safer, he said.
Before the houses along Dixie Street were demolished, anyone could hide out in the back yards, Weintraub said.
"That area back there was totally blocked from view," he said while standing on Dixie Street and pointing to the back of the park area. "There was no way you could see back there."
Weintraub has been a staunch supporter of the project. He said residents picked the location.
"The neighbors are the ones that wanted it put here," he said.
Jillian Haas is one of those neighbors. She is looking forward to the small concerts that will be held under the pavilion.
"I really like music," she said.
Weintraub said the East End, one of the densest neighborhoods in the city, was in dire need of a park.
Stephen Haas agreed. He hopes the park may help attract people from other neighborhoods and towns to the East End.
"They may come here to the park and then walk around to some of the restaurants," he said.
Not counting the second and third phases of construction, the park will represent a $1.2 million investment.
Construction costs will be about $516,000, which includes $269,000 earmarked by the authority and $200,000 in federal grant dollars allocated to the city.
The remainder of the funds -- $684,000 -- was spent to acquire property and demolish structures, Edwards said. Most came from the authority, he said.
The second phase will include construction of a parking lot on the Nancy Street side of the park. The third phase is to build a skate park and a splash ground, Edwards said.