By Brad Christian
Thursday night, the Midtown Security Community held its monthly meeting featuring Col Billy Garrett of the Union Station Police Station and City Mayor AC Wharton. The meeting was held at the Midtown Church of Christ and hosted by HopeWorks, an organization that operates out of the church.
Col Garrett reviewed the crime statistics of the Union Station Precinct, as he does every month. For the first three weeks of November, crimes district-wide were roughly at the 52-week average of 70 incidences per week, but the week of Thanksgiving crimes took a 35% dive to only 46. Col Garrett was especially proud as he hadn’t seen a weekly number this low in recent memory. He also highlighted Cooper Young as a neighborhood for having an 11% drop for the month of November which amounted to 121 less incidences than the 12 month average!
Col Garrett showed the group the effectiveness of neighborhood organization by mapping out residential burglaries for the month and highlighted the neighborhoods that have active community associations: many more burglaries clustered in areas without organized residents!
Mayor Wharton assured the crowd that crime was an over-arching theme of his leadership in the city. To illustrate his concern he relayed a meeting with an unnamed major employer in the city that was ready to move out of town because of fears of safety for its employees. The Mayor also made it known that instead of thinking of the crime problem as an item among a list, he sees it as an item that frames everything else that he will try to accomplish.
Items emphasized by Mayor Wharton:
- Citizens need to take an active approach against crime, by communicating with police when suspicious activities are observed (also emphasized by Col Garrett)
- The city will work to make sure lots/properties that are owned by the city and not occupied will be maintained
- Citizens/business owners with access to security cameras should make those cameras known to their neighbors and the police so the information can be shared
Mayor Wharton urged us to treat the crime problem as we would a health crisis, with everyone pitching in a little so as to stop problems early before they become an epidemic. Following these guidelines and with the city actively working with us, we can continue the momentum that has built up and make our city a safer and more enjoyable place.
For more information about the Midtown Security Community, see their website: www.midtownsecuritycommunity.org