Editor, Our neighborhood, maybe just like yours, is experiencing a residence that appears to be having a significant amount of alleged illegal activity, which in turn is, disrupting the community. lowering home values, increasing traffic and generally causing a public nuisance.
Over the last few months, our neighborhood watch association has had presentations by the mayor, our crime prevention officer, the city inspector and our elected alderman in an attempt to better the community and rid the neighborhood of any alleged illegal activity.
In addition, neighbors have reported that they have made phone calls, submitted complaints and voiced their concerns to elected officials, the 911 center, HPD officers while in the neighborhood and the MACE unit. During the summer, contractors in the neighborhood have observed frequent daily alleged suspicious illegal activity from the residence. To date, there has been no apparent action in resolving the issue.
Of note, just after this past summer’s alleged community drug bust everything in our neighborhood came to a stop for four or five days. There was no high volume of traffic, no “quick stop” home visits, no anything. It was peaceful, quiet. However, within a week it returned to business as usual. And since the troops have started to return, volume has actually increased.
On Friday, Sept. 19, after observing four alleged illegal transactions in the span of 30 minutes, I encountered an individual who had parked their vehicle in my driveway while the other vehicle occupant was making a “60 second home visit” to the residence, probably to check the SEC standings or Braves’ score. (We have a lot of that at this residence.) I informed the vehicle driver that I did not appreciate their alleged illegal activity in my neighborhood and that they need to go elsewhere to make their “quick stops.” Three days later, the vehicle I was driving when I encountered this individual, was the victim of a “drive by” when, in excess of, 12 BB on pellet rounds were fired at the vehicle. I have since talked with folks in the neighborhood who will not say or report anything more due to the fear of retaliation like mine.
Yup, there is a price to pay, but at what point do we take a stand and demand back our neighborhoods? Somewhere I remember reading, “We the people ... ” Well, we are the people and we need to demand from our elected officials, law enforcement representatives, judges, prosecutors and so forth the right to be able to reside in our neighborhood free from any and all alleged illegal activity.
Sign ordinances, taxes, transportation shuttles, roads and recreation are all important issues for each citizen. But if citizens are not safe in their environment, if our (your) neighborhood is not secure, then what does all else matter?
So, in this open letter to our community leaders, we (especially those in my neighborhood) have done what you have required and asked of us. What else do you want? What else do we need to do? When do we get to see a change?
We, the citizens, await your reply.