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KCLBADave

A "Bad" Comment

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A "Bad" Comment

The other night there was some teenage boys messing around in the parking lot behind our loft. My teenage son over heard them saying something about"they are going to get robbed." A little while later these young men lit a package of firecrackers on top of our car (nice). So my son went down there to ask them to move along.

A little while later my son saw two GR Police officers across the street on their patrol bikes. He walked across the street to let them know what had happened. One officer was white, the other Hispanic. When he explained what happened the white police officer said, "Wait a minute you live where?" My son pointed to our place and said, "there, we moved in three weeks ago." To which the officer replied, "why in the world would you want to move into 'this' neighborhood?" My son said, because my Dad works down the street and is really involved in this neighborhood. The officer then replied, "you know this is a bad neighborhood don't you?" The conversation pretty much ended after that lovely comment.

We have a lot of crap going on in this city right now. There is a lot of tension on the streets. 4 shootings in the past week attest to this fact. I am not dogging out the whole police force. However, when my son gets a response like this at 10:30 at night from a community police officer, who by the way never went behind our building to check anything out!, it sheds light on our problem. I wonder what kind of attitude this police officer has when servicing this "bad" neighborhood? I wonder what kind of trust he engenders from the residents of this "bad" neighborhood?

On Tuesday I will call the police department to complain. I will be nice about it but my concerns for how my new neighborhood must be voiced.

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$100s says the cop lives in the suburbs. If he does, this reaffirms the notion that the GRPD should be looking for talent in the innercity. I was profiled for being in a "black" 'hood, so this comes as no suprise.

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You yourself said you live in a building that sat abandoned for 20 years. The Madison area is an area in transition, and to expect encouragement or enlightenment from a young police officer (I am guessing he was a rookie), is probably a bit too optimistic.

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There probably isn't much that could be done in that situation but the officer could've at least said something like, "We'll keep an eye out." Just because a neighborhood is in transition doesn't make it okay for people to mess with others' property. Catching murderers and busting drug dealers is great, but police shouldn't pick and choose which laws to uphold based on what neighborhood the offense happened in.

When citizens continually reach out to the police for help and get nothing, they tend to eventually take the law into their own hands. Not to mention that when criminals (I'm not really talking about those teenagers anymore) see that they can repeatedly get away with "petty" crimes, they eventually move on to "bigger and better" things. It's a major quality of life issue, as well.

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This just reaffirms the thought that we need precincts. Not a centralized unit, but a neighborhood presence that comes with precincts. I believe that the centralized department creates a disconnect with people. I think it also instills the "we can get away with it" mentality into everyone jus tbecause they are located all the way downtown. Our cops need to get into the neighborhoods and get the gist of who lives there, and with this the people of the neighborhood need to know who polices them.

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This just reaffirms the thought that we need precincts. Not a centralized unit, but a neighborhood presence that comes with precincts. I believe that the centralized department creates a disconnect with people. I think it also instills the "we can get away with it" mentality into everyone jus tbecause they are located all the way downtown. Our cops need to get into the neighborhoods and get the gist of who lives there, and with this the people of the neighborhood need to know who polices them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Rizzo-I really like the precinct idea. We need to get the police into and a part of the community. I am a firm believer that if one is going to be on the payroll of the City...no matter what position he/she holds, you must live in the City.

For example most of the people that work on the 4th floor of City Hall, the Housing & Community Development department live way out of town. These are the people that decide how millions of Community Development Block Grant dollars are spent. Most of the folks that work for the Economic Development office also do not live in the City.

When you do not live in the City and thus make the issues of the City, your issues, it is too easy for your decisions to be based on job security instead of what is best for the community.

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^For real lighthousedave, but my aunt works in City Hall and lives out in Wyoming... I know she is very culturally aware... I am applying for work through the City, and hoping to get a job with the parking ramps department, should I be located in the city? (for arguments sake lets say I don't live in the city.) I do see the merit with having people who are in position of power to be at least citizens of the City.

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^For real lighthousedave, but my aunt works in City Hall and lives out in Wyoming... I know she is very culturally aware... I am applying for work through the City, and hoping to get a job with the parking ramps department, should I be located in the city? (for arguments sake lets say I don't live in the city.) I do see the merit with having people who are in position of power to be at least citizens of the City.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I could concede your last sentence. My biggest beef is that many of the folks that make decisions that affect thousands of Grand Rapidian's lives do not live in the City. I think there should certainly be a residency requirement for Executive Level staff, and a few other key positions.

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I agree with lighthouse dave. It's kind of mess up knowing that people that don't live in the city make decisions that effect us. If they don't live here they are less likely to care about the issues facing the city

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I agree with lighthouse dave. It's kind of mess up knowing that people that don't live in the city make decisions that effect us. If they don't live here they are less likely to care about the issues facing the city

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Of course all elected officials -- Mayor, city commission members -- live in the city. These are the people who set policy and make decisions. This is required by the city charter.

The courts have thrown out almost all other residency requirements. The police and fire labor unions are very much opposed to residency requirements.

I would 'assume" the city manager lives in the city. If not, that is a terrible trend. Many cities still try to require department heads to reside in the city, but unless the department head is willing, there is not much that can be done, legally, these days.

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I wonder if city hall will will provide me with a percentage of positions held that are of people not living in the City of Grand Rapids. Is there support to make high-level decision making positions, reclusive to GR?

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Of course all elected officials -- Mayor, city commission members -- live in the city. These are the people who set policy and make decisions. This is required by the city charter.

The courts have thrown out almost all other residency requirements. The police and fire labor unions are very much opposed to residency requirements.

I would 'assume" the city manager lives in the city. If not, that is a terrible trend. Many cities still try to require department heads to reside in the city, but unless the department head is willing, there is not much that can be done, legally, these days.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Naturally there is a residency requirement for elected officials. Kurt Kimbal the City Mgr does live in the City. Also true that courts have rejected most attempts to get an across the board residincy requirement. GRPS has looked at this for School Employees as well.

There can, however, be a residency requirement for key staff depending on their position. The City can also come up with incentives to encourage employees to live in the City.

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I do think precincts would be good, but that went the way of the Steketee's building a couple years back. I think anyone who works in a neighborhood daily can generally separate the good from the bad, or for that matter, realize that the neighbors are people and a couple of bad apples usually set the perception for the entire neighborhood :(

Joe

This just reaffirms the thought that we need precincts. Not a centralized unit, but a neighborhood presence that comes with precincts. I believe that the centralized department creates a disconnect with people. I think it also instills the "we can get away with it" mentality into everyone jus tbecause they are located all the way downtown. Our cops need to get into the neighborhoods and get the gist of who lives there, and with this the people of the neighborhood need to know who polices them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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A "Bad" Comment

The other night there was some teenage boys messing around in the parking lot behind our loft.  My teenage son over heard them saying something about"they are going to get robbed."  A little while later these young men lit a package of firecrackers on top of our car (nice).  So my son went down there to ask them to move along. 

A little while later my son saw two GR Police officers across the street on their patrol bikes.  He walked across the street to let them know what had happened.  One officer was white, the other Hispanic.  When he explained what happened the white police officer said, "Wait a minute you live where?"  My son pointed to our place and said, "there, we moved in three weeks ago."  To which the officer replied, "why in the world would you want to move into 'this' neighborhood?"  My son said, because my Dad works down the street and is really involved in this neighborhood.  The officer then replied, "you know this is a bad neighborhood don't you?"  The conversation pretty much ended after that lovely comment.

We have a lot of crap going on in this city right now.  There is a lot of tension on the streets.  4 shootings in the past week attest to this fact.  I am not dogging out the whole police force.  However, when my son gets a response like this at 10:30 at night from a community police officer, who by the way never went behind our building to check anything out!, it sheds light on our problem.  I wonder what kind of attitude this police officer has when servicing this "bad" neighborhood?  I wonder what kind of trust he engenders from the residents of this "bad" neighborhood? 

On Tuesday I will call the police department to complain.  I will be nice about it but my concerns for how my new neighborhood must be voiced.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Don't get me wrong. I would have gone out and throttled those guys with my 7 iron if they lit firecrackers on my car ;)

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Yeah, I own a few rentals and just purchased a new one. One of the first times I went over there the neighbor kids (13-18ish) threw eggs at me and my car (thankfully, they have bad aim). I called the police and they responded right away, but basically told me that there was nothing they could do unless I had a detailed description. Now these punks are harrassing two of our new tenants.

It's very annoying, but I don't know what to do about it. I wanted to fix a place up in what I think is a neighborhood that needs some help, but these punks are starting to bug me and make me not want to bother.

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Maybe put up a flyer or two on a street corner telling people your vision for the neigborhood.... That may show that you are atleast taking an interest in the community.

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It's very annoying, but I don't know what to do about it. I wanted to fix a place up in what I think is a neighborhood that needs some help, but these punks are starting to bug me and make me not want to bother.

Can't you harm them if they are about to harm you? Or is there a law in michigan against that.

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That's not going to look favorable in the courts that he may have harmed a couple of kids pulling pranks... Besides, eggs aren't a greater bodily threat, so theres no excuse for retaliation. The police will see it that way.

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Unless he brings his own eggs. ;)

Joe

That's not going to look favorable in the courts that he may have harmed a couple of kids pulling pranks... Besides, eggs aren't a greater bodily threat, so theres no excuse for retaliation. The police will see it that way.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Interesting.

I have witnessed the "changing of the guard" at approximately 7:00 a.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. downtown, and the policemen I see out of uniform are incredibly young. Kids, really. The uniform really adds more than one would think.

And wisdom, unfortunately, comes with age. There is a lot of growing up to do on this force.

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Welcome Budgie!

Joe

Interesting.

I have witnessed the "changing of the guard" at approximately 7:00 a.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. downtown, and the policemen I see out of uniform are incredibly young.  Kids, really. The uniform really adds more than one would think.

And wisdom, unfortunately, comes with age. There is a lot of growing up to do on this force.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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