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Monday, January 29, 2007

A Few Ideas Regarding Crime Prevention

It’s no secret that our area is fostering a dangerous criminal element currently. As reported by several others, this past weekend’s violence evidenced the deadly nature of it all. I don’t have much to add to the discussion of recent events, so I'll offer up a few measures that we can do ourselves to curb this stuff.

1. Gang Prevention – this website about gang prevention offers some interesting insight into how communities can help prevent gang involvement. In my uneducated and humble opinion on the subject, gangs are an outgrowth of larger societal shortcomings that we need to proactively address. Our children need better schools, more opportunities for character growth, better role models, more activities, and more community building. So how about organizing a field trip for a group of at-risk youth to a high ropes course, mentoring a kid one afternoon a week (even if “mentoring” meant simply taking him/her out for a coke and talking about their life?) or tutoring at a local school? It seems our local churches and other area institutions fall woefully short in engaging our (or maybe enough of our) neighborhood youth.

2. Graffiti Fighting – I’ve observed a lot more graffiti in our area and in D.C. as a whole lately. Graffiti gives off the impression that neighbors do not notice or care about the decimation of their surroundings. It invites more graffiti and criminal activity. How about painting over graffiti every weekend (admittedly I meant to do this every other weekend this year but have fallen short of my promise to myself)?

3. Leave Your Outside Lights on All Night - Light up the night to give criminals fewer places to hide. The energy and corresponding money expended are well worth it.

4. Form a Neighborhood Watch – The D.C. Police Department can help in forming such a neighborhood watch. Based on my reading of their website on the subject , forming a neighborhood watch seems like a relatively simple thing to do and, if nothing else, is a great exercise in community-building. Indeed, I plan to form one on my block.


Jason said...

Good post Shaw Rez.

I agree with all of the above mentioned advice. In terms of graffiti cleanup - the city wants you to use their online service center:

I've yet to use it, but I do believe in the broken windows theory. We as citiziens need to be proactive about graffiti and trash on our streets. And the police need to be proactive about petty crimes and smaller issues that can turn into bigger crimes.

Ray said...

You must understand, folks, the city is worthless. Always has been, always will be. Take matters (like a paintbrush) in your own hands. Stop talking about it, put down the Grey Goose cocktails and the high end laptop, and paint over the six-foot grafitti on the fence and Carter's vacant, gutted store. Home Depot sells mismatched paint for five bucks a gallon.

Shaw Rez said...

Thanks for the tip, Ray--I didn't know about the discounted paint at Home Depot; I'll grab some soon.

And thanks for continuing your crusade to better our corner of the neighborhood. Sorry for falling behind on my duties as a good neighbor!

For the record, I don't have a high end laptop... just a junky old borrowed desktop PC.

Drew said...

Can't deny the Grey Goose though... Well, solely Makers Mark in my glass. We will start by painting the graffiti we can see out of our bedroom window, not the most beautiful thing to see when waking up in the morning!

milton avery said...

Duron paint store has similar paint offerings. $5.00 a gal. nice colors.

Shaw Rez said...

Duron is even closer; thanks, Milton!

Jonathan said...

I'm big on crime prevention ever since i was burgled. A company i know called advance security screening does crime prevention well from good solid locks to window bars and security cages and i would highly recommend securing your home.

Ive installed burglar alarms, good locks and a security cage in my garage with a safe in it. i dont think its too much security, i am just acknowledging that we don't live in a place were you can leave your door unlocked anymore