Another event Saturday was presented by Clarendon Park Neighbors and CAPS regarding personal safety and the establishment of a neighborhood watch. Thanks to a reader who sent in photos and a summary of the event.
Dr. Ron Rufo from CPD gave a presentation on personal safety. I learned some things I hadn't known: If someone asks for the time, he could be checking to see your watch and rings. If you leave your ATM receipt at the ATM, you're telling everyone how much money you took out and how much money you have left in your account. Walk down the street like a cop with a self-confident swagger. If you're walking down the street and see people approaching you who make you uncomfortable, act crazy and talk to yourself. If you use a cell phone while you're walking, make sure to tell the person you're talking to where you are so they can call the police if necessary.
Then there was discussion about the establishment of a neighborhood patrol of 4-6 people walking in a group. It would be less a "reporting" thing than a deterrent thing, similar to residents showing up in Sunnyside Mall on a regular basis. People doing illegal things don't want other people around! The emptier the streets are, the more opportunity there is for the criminal element to move in. The police suggested that if everyone in Uptown spent just an hour a night in front of their homes -- cleaning the parkway, planting, sitting on the stoop, just taking a chair and sitting outside talking on the phone or drinking a pop -- the criminal activity would lessen considerably.
The block club president encouraged condo associations to get camera systems (see related discussion). A sign-in sheet was passed around so people could be contacted for more meetings. If you're interested in participating or starting your own block club's neighborhood watch, write to CPNAssoc@gmail.com.
The best quote of the afternoon was: "If we don't do anything, do you think the level of violence will go down?"