Neighborhood Leaders Discuss POLICE and CODES
Notable in the riots in England with the killing and stealing is that Vigilant Groups in towns and cities around the country emerged as PREVENTION and DETERRENT.
October 17, 2011, Mayor’s Summit with Neighborhoods, the two main areas of Neighborhoods: CODES and POLICE.
Here are snippets from the Summit and from emails circulating among Presidents:
From the Mayor’s Summit: “Neighborhoods can help by getting residents to walk the beat around their own neighborhoods, aggressively report crimes.”
From the Emails:
POLICE: “Our Mosque was broken into and I experienced firsthand an extremely apathetic approach to burglary investigations. However, the men of the Mosque hit the streets and did our own investigation.
We caught the perpetrator and retrieved our property within hours.”
POLICE: “We had another armed robbery tonight! About 8:00 pm. Someone attempted to rob the barbershop. The person came in with a mask and a gun. The barber and his customer jumped the robber!
They took off his mask, took his gun, then the robber begged for his life and ran!
One of the victims was able to identify the robber, so hopefully they catch him.”
POLICE: “The stories about police response time and investigations we get from our neighbors that have had their homes broken into would make a brass monkey cry!”
POLICE: “A month ago six cars were parked in front of a girl’s house and a crowd of 10 people getting ready to fight. I called 911 immediately because I knew it wasn’t going to be anything nice! Another resident also called the police. Ten minutes later (911 call), they still weren’t there. By this time, the fight was in full swing. Myself and the neighbor called back, asking where is the police? They arrived five minutes later. By then, the fight was over and people were pulling off in cars. No one was stopped or questioned.
“Saturday a resident saw a group of boys getting ready to fight, one boy ran into the house and came back out with a gun. The resident called 911 and stayed until the police arrived, which was 12 minutes later! When the boys saw the police, they ran.”
“The average response time for a burglary in our area? An hour or more.”
POLICE: “There is no problem with the SPPD officers. We have astonishing response times in Lakewood, and wonderful Community Service Officers. But we have noticed there is a reluctance to help us and let us help the Police by using modern instant communication techniques. Reluctance isn’t even the right word; trying to even talk to Police command staff about using efficient methodologies has been fruitless.
POLICE: A responsive and engaged force on the street, but a remote and disengaged command staff. There is a lot of talk by PD about working with the public and citizen participation and involvement but the reality is otherwise. As a result, modern instant communication techniques that would help prevent crime in our neighborhoods are not being used.
“Example: 80+ year old man wandered away from a nursing home. Despite the PD’s knowledge of a large and email-supported Crime Watch, and despite a well-paid “Neighborhood Crime Prevention Office,” no one informed us about this man. He spent 4 days wandering until he was found. Supervisors at the Nature Park would have reported him at least 2 days earlier had they received word from Lakewood (they are in our group) to keep an eye out.”
POLICE: “When we asked SPPD spokesman Bill Proffitt why no one at the PD contacted us to assist, we were told “We don’t do that.”
“Municipalities throughout the country are using email alerts and reverse 911 systems for years,
but these tools are not being used in St. Petersburg.”
POLICE: “I asked Proffitt (SPPD Info Officer) why no one in the PD uses instant communication to let us and Nature Park know about a missing senior (we do have silver alerts). I’m told, ‘We don’t do that.’ Is this an answer? When I call as head of a neighborhood with 1600 homes and ask to speak with the chief, if I get a call back, it is always, always from a sergeant. How does anything ever get resolved? Sometimes it seems like no one above a sergeant is allowed to speak to the public – like we’re some kind of threat.”
POLICE and CODES: “When you give an example, they focus on minute details and come up with 16 1/2 excuses about why it actually never happened. We can’t get anyone to see the overall problem – or rather we can’t get anyone to address the overall problem, not the PD and not Codes. I have tried to talk to Gary Bush on several occasions about the long, long, endless time it takes to bring a complaint to a satisfactory end. Instead of looking at all the times this happens, he goes back and looks at one good instance and says, “Well, now, ya see…..” and that’s where we get stuck.”
FOUR PRESIDENTS of NEIGHBORHOODS write, then summarize thus:
“We have numerous examples of problems created by these broken processes (SPPD and CODES) – available at Summit, but it isn’t the specific cases we need to discuss. The issue is the larger problems of SPPD communications and CODES enforcement consistency, that we want the city to address.”
NEIGHBORHOODS: “We can accomplish far more for our neighborhoods, individually and as a whole, when we act in concert, using the experience and knowledge of others as we move forward.
“To be effective requires a spirit of reciprocity among leaders.
“Each must be willing to help another even though they don’t share the same problems.