The guest speaker at the well-attended Thursday, February 28 Neighborhood Safety Meeting was Antoinette James, a Crime Victim Advocate from Ascension Health Care Systems. Antoinette spoke about the many services Ascension provides for victims of crime from ages 5 – adult. She also distributed information regarding the physical, mental, and behavioral reactions victims commonly experience. Ascension’s free services include support groups, 8-week, and one day workshops. “We come to precincts, schools, block club meetings, radio patrol meetings, and churches – wherever we are asked. We will come to you,” Antoinette explained. “We also help crime victims access other resources like food, shelter, counseling, clothing, and jobs. We bring hope.”
NEIGHBORHOOD POLICE OFFICERS IN ATTENDANCE
Neighborhood Police Officers attend every Neighborhood Safety Meeting, addressing resident concerns and questions. Several residents from Grandmont Rosedale as well as other communities expressed their concerns to Commander Jacqueline Pritchett from the 8th Precinct who gave residents numbers to call, took note of relevant addresses, and explained the process of how to report a crime. Captain John Svec, Officer Troy Wesley, Officer Precious Reed, Officer Shawn Childrey, and Officer Baron Coleman were also at the Neighborhood Safety Meeting, getting to know the residents in the neighborhoods where they serve.
Victoria Holsey of COMPSTAT (Compare Statistics) through WSU-Center for Urban Studies offered analysis of crime stats for area. She identified crime trends specific to the area, and at what times they typically happen. Holsey emphasized the usefulness of radio patrols to help decrease crime as well as to distribute information to residents and the police force. AmeriCorps intern Deanne Austin with Urban Safety Program presented information about initiatives to increase neighborhood safety and security. The Urban Safety Program offers free home safety assessments that will provide residents with dead bolts, carbon dioxide alarms, and smoke detectors.
VOLUNTEER RESIDENTS ORGANIZE NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY MEETINGS
The Neighborhood Safety Meetings are sponsored and organized by GRDC’s Crime Prevention Task Force. The members of the CPTF select the topics of the Meetings, schedule speakers and the presence of the Neighborhood Police Officers. These volunteers also provide refreshments, set up tables offering a wide variety of information, and they hold a raffle for first time attendees. Volunteers Vi Johnson, Clarenda Webb, Robert Patterson, along with GRDC’s Community Engagement Manager Kitty Yarbrough greeted attendees, explained what was available at the information table, set out the food, distributed agendas, and surveys, and lead the Meeting.
Residents also shared information about upcoming community events such as the Property Tax Exemption Application Workshop on Wednesday, March 13 from 10 am – 3 pm at GRDC, 19800 Grand River, Detroit Partnership Day on Saturday, April 13 from 10 am – 2 pm at four locations in Grandmont Rosedale, and the Annual Eater Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 20 from 10 am – 12 noon at the North Rosedale Park Community House, 18445 Scarsdale.
The Meeting wrapped up with new Grandmont Rosedale resident Debbi Kowalski winning the first time attendee raffle. A well-informed community is often a safe community. If you would like to join the Vacant Property Task Force, let Kitty Yarbrough know at email@example.com, or 313.387.4732, ext. 103. To join or to report an incident, join the Crime Alert Email System by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the list. The next Neighborhood Safety Meeting will be Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 pm at the North Rosedale Park Community House, 18445 Scarsdale.