Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Neighborhood Crime Biting
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Last evening one of our neighbors held a Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting in their yard, so we attended to learn what's going on in the area, especially about some recent troubles.

Many more people showed up than I expected, perhaps because of the aforementioned incident. For guest speakers we had the local police officer in charge of our area, and a prosecuting attorney based at the same location, who handles quality-of-life problems (as opposed to crimes against property or person).

Many people aired grievances, and one neighbor showed to defend himself about his apparently illegal renting of a poolhouse, because this action led to a number of mail theft incidents (people trying to get information to steal identities) as well as transients being in the area.

Apparently we have (had) a number of automobile chopshops and drug houses scattered amongst us, but there are undercover cops and others working on those problems. We're nothing like some of the adjoining neighborhoods, but not everyone has the same perspective on that.

At the end, complaints about speeders may be handled by signs, and perhaps speed bumps, but the latter's likely to cause contention because some people hate them and some love them. Further, the neighborhood would have to pay for them, and apparently is also liable if they damage a vehicle. Plus firetrucks have some trouble with them. We'll see. I really hope they don't get put in.

Further, a number of people complained about one neighbor's family parking numerous cars along both sides of a curvey street, restricting even one-way travel in some cases. Probably something will be done about that, but some people might get more than they wished for if the city decides to elinimate parking on both sides all the time.

In sum, it was an interesting experience in seeing what goes on at such a meeting. It had the steretypical people who wanted to drown out each other and who would not listen. Others just wanted to air their anecdotes and seemed incapable of taking in the larger picture. The hosts did a good job moderating, however, so I'm glad they appointed themselves block captains for the watch.

Most interesting fact: our police dept. has only five units to cover 45 square miles.

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