Harrisburg Happening

Monday, July 24, 2006

Stupid Crime Fighting Ideas

Just got an email from Jennifer Storm, the Executive Director Victim/Witness Assistance Program of Dauphin County (copied below)

Yessiree - ice cream and dunking tanks will take a bite out of crime. This is theater of the absurd. What we need are cops on the street and accurate reporting by precinct and neighborhood.

"Hello Everyone~

I hope this email finds you all doing well. I wanted to apprise you all of an upcoming event on Tuesday August 1st. Please see the attached flyer. We are hoping to get as many residents of Midtown out to this event as possible and we need your help!!!

With all the recent break-ins and criminal activity, now is the time to get out of our homes and be as visible as possible. We need to take our streets back and send a clear message to criminals in our area.

I currently have flyers at my house if you are interested in helping us get the word out. If you wish to stop by and pick some flyers up please call me at 805-0222 and we can arrange a time.

If you wish to volunteer the night of the event, please email me or call and we will set you up. We will have several opportunities including helping with children’s activities, scooping ice cream, running the dunk tank etc.

Thank you and I hope to see each of you out at the National Night Out!!!


Jennifer Storm Executive Director Victim/Witness Assistance Program Dauphin County Courthouse Front & Market Streets Harrisburg, PA 17101 717-780-7078 Pager/Cell 717-805-0222"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, no, this is awesome, with everyone at the fair, those criminals can just go ahead and break into all your houses!

July 24, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

It's just another example of the lack of any fresh ideas. My hope is that yesterday's meeting in midtown will actually yield some new ideas and new approaches. The status quo just doesn't cut it

July 24, 2006  
Blogger Aries708 said...

I've met Jen before, she seems rather bright.

I know it looks bad, but it's too easy to take a cynical stand on something like this. BELIEVE ME, I eat "Cynical Flake Crunch" cereal for breakfast. I am fighting my urge to tear this apart, but give it a chance.

I think folks just want know that they aren't alone. Having a crowd show up might be good in a community sense. The event won't "show" the criminal element anything, but people need something right now. Consider this a psychological exercise.

All caveats aside, I throw myself to mercy of the Blog Gods!

July 24, 2006  
Anonymous Dave said...

Wow, this is a pretty harsh reaction!

This activity has been planned for a while, well before the terrible recent incidents. It is part of the National Night Out by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW). Info below. 3 neighborhood groups (made up of regular Harrisburg residents, like you and I) put this together. It's mainly an opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other and is a community-building activity -- with symbolism of course.

From the NATW website:

What is it?
An evening to sit on your front porches, hang out with neighbors and show everyone who lives in the neighborhood that the residents race about the places they live and the neighbors around them.

The evening was designed to:
- Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
- Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
- Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
- Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

How to participate?
The involvement is simple. Next Tuesday evening hang out on your front porch or stoop between 6PM & 8PM and catch up with your neighbors on the street. You may feel inclined to set up a grill in front of your house and have a cookout. The main focus of the event is to be out in front of your house. At the very basic level you can just keep your front or back lights on all night to light the street.


So before you chastise a grassroots activity (and the hard work of your neighbors) as "stupid," please realize that all of these "small" things add up and make our community stronger. That's just one of many small steps toward making our community safer, cleaner and all we desire it to be.

All that aside, we hope you'll participate, and please feel welcome to stop by Riverfront Park on Aug 1. I just found your website and you have some excellent ideas and dialog going here. Thanks for having it!

Dave Robertson

July 25, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

I'm sorry if the organizers took offense. All I'm saying is that we really need fresh ideas, not the same old ones. McGruff has been taking a bite out of crime since my kids were tiny, and they are fully grown now.

I really wish some of the crime watch crowd would take a look at what some other cities are doing and would push for more feet on the ground. That, and the obvious - to cut crime you have to have a society in which there are opportunities for advancement, education and jobs. I don't see that happening much.

July 25, 2006  
Anonymous Dave said...

Thanks Anniken.

Why not join one of these groups? There may be one already established in your area. I'm sure they would appreciate your ideas and if you were to do some light research on what other cities are doing that would be a great way (out of many) to contribute to your block and the city.

July 25, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

The one in my neighborhood is run by a busybody who has nothing better to do than take photos of suspected prostitutes and show them to the cops and with whom I have had a running feud for over 20 years. I will have nothing to do with her under any circumstances - even if hell would freeze over and the second coming was tomorrow.

However, I am planning a trip to Savannah to talk to the police and the mayor about their apparent success this year in cutting crime by 50%. I'll post my findings here.

July 25, 2006  
Blogger GastonStreet said...

Fabulous idea Anniken, I wish our Mayor and Police Chief were just as interested in decreasing crime as you are, and were able to start a dialogue with a successful sister city. Perhaps we could link these folks together, we just might have a fighting chance against the criminal chaos in our neighborhoods. Good Luck on your trip.

July 25, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

Maybe I'll stop in Charleston, too and check out the sensors.

July 25, 2006  

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