Sunday, October 25, 2015

One more plea for help

On Friday morning DH made another attempt to get some action/help with our horrible neighborhood drug issue. Apparently he was confused as to why he was invited (by the head sheriff's office) to this meeting. It was a meeting between the county council and the sheriff's department, to discuss whatever was on their agenda, including this 5 person "property crimes" task force they are asking the council for additional money for (for 2016, which probably means that by the time they get it set up, it will be 2017 or close to it). DH got the (wrong) impression he was supposed to speak (in support) of this.

One of the gentlemen, from the nearby neighborhood with same exact problem (because it's all the same people visiting both neighborhoods), went to this meeting with DH (which I was very happy about because it meant I didn't have to go!). Well, DH wrote a little 3 minute speech but when he got there and they noticed he had paper in his hand they said this type of meeting isn't usually for the "citizens" to speak on. I guess he was just invited as a show by the sheriff to say "see....we are trying to get more staff so we can help your issue". But I guess our councilman and the head chair councilman decided they'd let DH and the the other neighbor speak because the Sheriff had brought an insurance agent to speak about property crimes. If he got to speak, so should they.

DH is a very good writer, so he always makes some impact and he said when he was done and turned around to go sit down, the head Sheriff mouthed "wow" to him.  Then the other neighbor guy got up and said a bit...mostly highlighting that he is 68 years old. He served his country. He worked a career. He's a homeowner,  pays his taxes and doesn't deserve to have to live in a neighborhood that is left to run by druggies.

After it was over Head Sheriff came over to DH, shook his hand and said that was a "total class" speech. He just kept saying how classy it was. Then the council Chair came over and told DH what he said was very eloquent. So, DH came home feeling pretty proud of himself.

Here's the speech (though I left out the names):

I tend to get sidetracked in details when speaking freely as Mr XXX and some members of the Sheriff’s department can attest, so I’m going to read from a prepared statement if that’s ok.  And XX I do appreciate the time you’ve given us and vowing to never give up on us.

I had the privilege to lead a volunteer organization for 5 years and learned very early the importance of being willing to accept answers that you don’t necessarily agree with.  I also sat across from a neurologist when I was 37 years old and have had to apply that same principle for the past 14 years.

The mission of the XXXX County Sheriff's Department is to protect life and property, to uphold rights and to help build stronger, more livable communities.

That is the mission statement published by the XXXX County Sheriff’s office.   I don’t think there can be any argument that in order to fulfill the narrative in that statement, that the Sheriff needs men and woman in uniform out on the street.  How he gets there takes money, training, management, and a willingness by individuals to put themselves between law abiding and lawless people.

It also takes a strong policy put in place and adhered to in order for the lawless to understand that their freedom and rights doesn’t include stomping on the rights of others to live without fear of losing life, property, or their right to a livable community – like has happened to us recently.

One point we keep hearing is how understaffed the Sheriff’s department is, along with other county entities whose jobs are to enforce the laws written.  And yet policies seem more aimed to protect the rights of those who didn’t put the money, time, and effort into building a livable neighborhood or community, and those who fail to abide by the codes and laws you write, allows them to systematically drive us out of our home.

A little more than 60 days ago I spoke to all of you about the problems that have enveloped our neighborhood for more than two years now, and we did get the opportunity to meet with Sheriff XXX and his staff about it.  We listened to them and the solution they were willing and able to enact.  We recognize the staffing issues, along with the Sheriff’s prioritizing of response.  And we do believe that staffing and budget is a real issue.  We also differ from the position that adding a property crimes task force is the solution this county needs right now, but it goes back to being willing to accept that with which you disagree.  And ultimately, that’s why we pay all of you – to make the decisions that affect us all and rely upon your experience to achieve the goals.

This past Monday evening I watched as cars and pedestrians pulled up to a known drug house every two minutes – for hours.  Faces I’ve learned to recognize and have learned their well-established history in the XXXX County court system for drugs and other offenses.  Frustrated with it all, I once again called for help and was politely told there was 62 calls pending.  A Monday evening around 9PM.  I could tell he was as frustrated as I.

It seems there are many solutions yet to be found, but the ultimate goal for everyone in this room should be the same – figure out how to make XXXX County a safer and more livable community.  I ask that you support the Sheriff’s proposal and provide them with the tools he believes is the solution.

Thank you.

It's sad that it's going to take (for us and the other neighborhood, at least) vigilante justice to get this problem solved. But, at this point and over 2 years of this, I don't care how it gets solved. It just needs to be solved and be solved now.


  1. That was an excellent speech. I had problems with the renters next door to me. When I finally added the words "underage drinking," the police did whatever they do and everyone moved out with all their frequent company. I suppose that druggies are not drinking? I don't know. Do you take pictures of these people? Surreptitiously, I mean.

    1. We have pictures and videos that show up from our security cameras. DH has even UN-surreptitiously recorded them with his little point and shoot camera and they do not care. They have no worries that the police will do anything.