Ypsidixit - 2007-11-03 23:35:00
I'm fairly sure there's at least one other NA that has a neighborhood watch program that I overlooked, in which case I'd be glad to learn of it.

I'd love to see these 3 prongs brought up to speed for all the NAs. Some are already doing a great job, like the outstanding Normal Park website. I'd love to see all the NAs have as good a resource for their own communities.

I've done my part to add fuel to the fire of the income tax debate. So, I feel obligated to also pitch in and suggest what I view as helpful solutions, and volunteer to spend time working on implementing them, if Mayor Schreiber approves.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-03 23:52:40
It would also be cool if each NA website had a discussion forum, where residents of that NA could discuss everything from outstanding gardens in their NA to plans for improving the community. People are busy these days, and for many (like me) an online option is more workable than face to face meetings. A discussion forum might serve as an all-hours resource for all members of a given NA to contribute ideas and comments.
Murph - 2007-11-04 08:24:49
Whether, tax, cuts, neither, or both, I'm certainly in favor of "let's encourage and support our neighborhood associations." I'd caution, though, that your program as presented relies pretty heavily on neighborhood residents having access to e-mail and a neighborhood website. A great many households in town don't have ready access to a computer, or aren't comfortable using one. How do we engage the households who, by age, economics, or other factors, aren't going to be served by these methods?
pat the handyman - 2007-11-04 09:46:58
We used to have a block rep. I would go door to door and hand out a monthly newsletter ...I had 30 on my block .. the benefits of this are ...I was at each house on a regular basis. If there was anything out of the ordinary I saw it. I also met all my neighbors. Knew who was who and thier kids too. Who was older and alone at home, ill , etc etc . We averted a number of negative incidents. We knew who lived on our street, actually if you were new on the street everyone knew that. One instance in particular was when a burlary was averted by a neighbor, pulling his car into the driveway of the house the criminals were at and laying on the horn and calling 911. The would be thieves( idiots morons scumbags ) shot out of the house like a rocket and were apprehended running for thier lives ...they were lucky they weren't run down .... New Mich Law allows us as residents to protect ourselves BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY ...I think my car makes an excellent self defense weapon : )
mrs. parsons - 2007-11-04 12:18:22
ditto on what murph said.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-04 12:53:50
Murph and Mrs. Parsons: That's absolutely true. There's no getting around the fact that certain technologies are just not used by some residents. For example, if there were a system that relied on cell phone text messages for crime alerts, I'd be out of the loop since I don't have a cell phone. I think the thing to do is avoid reinventing the wheel but start by checking with NA reps to see what they think their resident groups would best be served by. Some neighborhoods are probably more wired than others (EMU) and others less so. An email and web based system would probably be useful for the EMU NAs, a combined multifaceted email and phone system would likely be better for other neighborhoods. It's also true that some older folks, from what I hear, like and use email but don't spend much time on the Web. I think the starting point is to look at each NA individually and develop a system accordingly. It doesn't have to be just one technology. But a phone tree serving just half of a NA's residents is more efficient and quick (and less prone to breakage) than one serving all of a NAs residents, some of whom may prefer to be contacted by email.

Mind you, I'm just an average person here. These are just humble and not-too-original suggestions based on concerns I hear about safety.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-04 12:56:51
Pat: That is a great illustration of the kind of neighborhood community I wish we had on my little street. I love the story of the defeated burglary! Just knowing who lives where and in what situation (like you said, living alone, ill) does a lot to unify a neighborhood against crime. Great info. Thank you.
mrs. parsons - 2007-11-04 13:52:54
how do you get everyone's phone number, though? most people in ypsi rent, and most rentals have locked exterior security doors. pat the handyman's method would require trespassing in those cases.
Teaspout - 2007-11-04 22:25:19
Ypsi-Dixit, I really like your idea whether or not the income tax passes. My neighborhood could already do with a Neighborhood Watch which my close by neighbors already do informally. Ironically, there used to be one. I know because there was an old dilapidated sign a few doors down. When I checked last week though, it had been stolen.
rodneyn - 2007-11-04 22:37:14
Here in Midtown we had organized for awhile volunteer walking patrols during the "peak" periods for problems. As I recall, they were organized through COPAC in some form, but I don't recall the details.
pat the handyman - 2007-11-05 09:02:20
Years ago , maybe before indoor plumbing, the need for nieghborhood watch, was unknown. Everybody knew everybody .... So that is where we started, we got to know everybody on our street. Even the landlords, the city and twp have thier names on file, some can be accessed online also. We had to recently contact one landlord about his property.... We went door to door to meet the neighbors ... Made ourselves available to the older folks that occasionally need help, and have had block parties where all are invited. Also, we let the local law enf, know what we are doing as well. Especially if we have a party , we make sure to invite the local police on duty for a burger. We we made an appt. and met with the local politico's just so they know us on the block here. So Far so Good ....
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-05 09:03:38
Mrs. Parsons: Pat the Handyman discusses driving in someone's driveway. Is that trespassing? I hardly think so. So far as getting contact information, I'd start by talking to the NA heads to see what method of contact they think would be best suited for their particular neighborhood. It might be phone #s, or not; they may already have a neighborhood directory; I think meeting with the NAs is the first step.

Ypsidixit - 2007-11-05 09:06:07
Teaspout: It seems that Neighborhood Watch programs are one of the most inexpensive, yet effective, methods of crime reduction. Here is a good guide I found for setting up one.

I had to laugh at what you said about the Neighborhood Watch sign...being stolen.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-05 09:08:16
Rodneyn: That is interesting. Sounds like a great idea. Was the "peak" period the summer in general, or around 4th of July? Or around big festivals? Just curious. I've seen signs for a Neighborhood Watch in either Midtown or Normal Park...perhaps they are a vestige of that program.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-05 09:10:10
Pat the Handyman: Oh, I thought you were talking about a past program, but it sounds as though your block is actively pursuing a Neighborhood Watch program at this time; is that correct? You say "so far so good," so it sounds as though it's active now. It does sounds like a really community-binding and effective program.
Eagle Talon - 2007-11-05 09:14:01
what is EMU and EMU2?
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-05 09:25:41
Eagle Talon, "EMU" and EMU2" are listed by CoPAC as 2 of the 16 community associations. You can see them on the CoPAC map here.
mrs. parsons - 2007-11-05 10:57:55
i'm sorry if i wasn't clear- what i meant to say was that most people in ypsi don't have driveways to pull into, nor front doors to knock on. i'm talking about the big apt complexes, the dorms, the houses broken up into smaller units, etcetera. this whole tax brouhaha has been called 'regressive' because it is unfair to renters- but i think neighborhood groups that by design only include property owners are similarly suspect.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-05 11:06:25
As are blog-commentors using pseudonyms. But I don't think NAs seek to exclude renters. Why would they? And any block-watch or neighborhood watch program benefits everyone on the block, whether they rent or own.
mrs. parsons - 2007-11-05 11:18:52
i'm not sure what you're getting at with that pseudonym comment...but i do think that an important part of the law, and the police, is that it be fair and democratic and regulated etcetera- so when we try to create these smaller 'amateur' policing forces, we should be very careful to try to include everyone involved in the process, and make sure they agree that the NA IS working in their best interests.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-05 11:24:11
Absolutely; that goes without saying.
rodneyn - 2007-11-05 20:01:40
The COPAC-developed Neighborhood Associations generally replaced the old Neighborhood Watch program. The citizen walking patrol program (as I recall) was going on in the fall (September-October) on Friday-Saturday evenings. Please correct me if I'm not remembering it accurately.
Ypsidixit - 2007-11-06 08:57:47
Rodeyn: Oh, I see. Sounds pretty nice, actually. Makes sense to do it just on those nights. Were the walks done in spring as well? Or was there a reason (football games?) just to do them in the fall? Just wondering.

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