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To: Lurker
Sadly, we've been having to teach our kids about the monsters out there for a while. We live on a nice, quiet downtown block--except for the houses on either side of us. Both duplexes, two different slumlords. We have had crack dealers, crack users, heroin dealers, heroin addicts and prostitutes as neighbors. I have come to know the police here very well and when a problem moves in it is dealt with, fast. But our kids have had to be told, many times: Don't speak to anyone that's not family unless we're with you. The only time they are ever outside alone is if they're in the backyard (fenced) with the dog, and me listening from the kitchen. Our house is on the market now, and we've bid on a house in a village with virtually no crime. It'll be a long time before I feel comfortable letting them out of my sight, though.

Drawing the line is the hardest thing, no doubt. I wish I could just let them be kids and enjoy their childhood, but that's not the world we live in.

12 posted on 08/25/2006 7:47:52 PM PDT by grellis (I don't know, let me ask my I Ching)
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To: grellis
Both duplexes, two different slumlords.

What a coincidence. Our small neighborhood is composed entirely of duplex units, 110 of them to be exact.

How do I know there are exactly 110? Because I've counted them to make sure each and every one of them gets a Neighborhood Watch meeting flyer every time we plan a meeting.

The folks in my neighborhood our mostly good people, but we have a couple of 'problem houses'. They're Section 8 housing and when we have issues with drug dealing, petty theft, gang graffiti, etc. they've always and I mean always been the source of the problems.

So we make sure they get notified of our meetings just like every body else.

Mrs. L and I have been running this NW for about 5 years now and it has made a dramatic difference in our area. We've managed to get about a dozen homes in the neighborhood to install those little CCTV cameras outside in places where they can watch the 'problem' homes.

They're a cheap and dirty solution to the problem of catching bad guys in the act. Oh the usual suspects have bitched and moaned about us 'invading their privacy' but local LEOs simply remind them that the streets aren't private.

We've also gotten pretty sophisticated with our NW patrols. Everyones got one of those little FRS/GMRS radios when they go out, video cams, and cell phones also. So any trouble and LE can be called and other NW patrols can converge post haste. Incidents can also be documented that way.

It doesn't take too long before the bad guys figure out that their lives will be easier elsewhere. So they move on to greener pastures if you know what I mean.

I highly recommend you look into setting one up in your neighborhood. I think you'll be suprised how many folks show up. We had over 70 people at our last meeting. Once the bad guys see that there are more of you than there are of them they tend to quiet down pretty quick.

We've simply refused to turn our neighborhood over to scum bags and gang bangers. By and large our local PD has been excellent to work with. There's only been one over muscled neanderthal jerk with a badge cop an attitude with us and he didn't last long with our Department.

Fortunately our Police Chief is a stand up guy and recognizes that the residents are an asset to be cultivated and not just a bunch of sheep needing to be guarded.

Like I said, look into setting one up in your area. I think you'll be pleasantly suprised at how much response you get.

Best of luck to you.


15 posted on 08/25/2006 8:15:32 PM PDT by Lurker (If you want peace, prepare for war.)
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