Friday, August 14, 2009

Communication is Key

In previous posts I've tried to promote the importance of good relations between the community and the police department. I do feel that the perspective that is often presented is that the police are not actually part of the community, or that they are nonresponsive, or that they only care about certain parts of the neighborhood, but I disagree. The police cannot be everywhere, and they need eyes on the street to help them realize where they need to be as our troubled spots shift. They may not be perfect, and I don't always agree with their actions, but for the most part I am pleased with 7D's commitment to our community, and here's one example why. . . .

This week has been a bit rough for the residents in the Birney Place/Eaton Road corridor and community members may have felt a bit forgotten when it's only after the fact that the lights and the sirens appear. But this post isn't about the crime (which happens no matter where you live), but the response to it. And I have to give credit where credit is due. For one, the police department was very quick to respond to Tuesday night's shooting. I had just hung up the phone with 911 when sirens blared down MLK and appeared at the end of the street. But more importantly, the next day, when I emailed some key players in 7D and requested a better police presence in the late night hours, they listened. Tonight I got home rather late from dinner with friends, and as I drove through the neighborhood, I saw two patrol cars along the strip. I was pleased by 7D's response to my request and really felt that it solidified their commitment to the community and that the police do hear our voices and do take us seriously. We are a vital part of the community, as are they, and it is imperative we work together.

You may be thinking that this is an exception to the rule, but in the five years I've lived in this community, if I've sent an email, made a phone call, or asked a question, it's been answered or responded to in one way, shape, or form. And persistance pays off. I try not to be the squeaky wheel that cries wolf too often, because I know 7D has a lot of ground to cover, but I do believe that our team really does care about helping our community out. If you aren't part of the 7D listserv I highly recommend joining it as very valuable information is distributed for the community, and as it is a vital communication tool for us to communicate with the 7D police department.