Friday, December 21, 2007
North End: Are Things Getting Better?
It may be too soon yet to get excited, but there are several indications that public disorder in the north end of downtown is easing.
Efforts begun or realigned as a result of October's 9th & Pacific Community Forum seem to be bearing fruit. Public telephones in the vicinity--which often seem to serve only those who want to break (or at least severely bend) the law--have been removed. The D Town Market--by all accounts a center for disorder--has been closed due to several code violations. Area residents and businesses have noted a visible increase in police patrols--which some link to the assignment of the new Sector One Commander, Lt. Shawn Gustason--and a precipitous drop in the "nuisance traffic" that has come to characterize that area for so many previous months.
"[A] message is sent to bad guys that it's not a smart move to try and get away with nuisance and criminal activity because the community, police, and the BIA are watching and working together to keep the neighborhood safe," observes Laura Hanan, an area resident and activist.
Credit needs to be directed towards Community Liaison Officer Rob Luke, who has helped orchestrate activities like the code review, and his fellow officers. Credit is also due to Safe Streets and the management of the Winthrop and Olympus hotels, all of whom are cooperating to address internal security issues that, too often in the past, have spilled out onto the streets. And credit is deserved by all north end community members, who are acting effectively to organize and take back those streets.