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Rhino6885

With all the great things happening in GR...

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I just bought a house on the southeast side in Fairmount Square Historic district. East hills and Wealthy street are short walks away, and Eastown isn't too far either. I have been very excited about the idea of walking to local bars from my new home in the evenings, then waking up and catching a great breakfast at the Cherry Inn, Brandywine, or Wolfgangs. The Blodgett condo project on Cherry and the reconstruction of Wealthy street made the purchase even more ideal as I dream of great market appreciation. HOWEVER, my vision for this great neighborhood is being greatly overshadowed by the recent crime in the southeast side.

Now, as I'm moving my things into my new house, I'm wondering how safe it is to walk to the local pubs and restaurants. Also, what will the neighborhood's growing reputation for violent crime and drugs do for my home's value? Not to mention, PEOPLE ARE BEING KILLED at a rate higher than I remember. There have been a dozen or more shootings within a mile or so within the last few weeks. What is going on?

The mobile police post was partially burned, and two people were shot yesterday less than two blocks from it. Is the presence of police really going to change the violent nature of the southeast sides' residents? If the police cannot do anything, who will? A news report last week said that priests, reverends, pastors, etc. were hitting the streets. However, if you can point a gun at somebody and pull the trigger over something STUPID like $100 worth of pot or a misguided "yo mama" joke, I doubt that a few words from the Bible will do much.

What am I trying to say? I don't know exactly...I guess I'm trying to vent. This is f****** stupid. I will be sitting on my porch keeping an eye on things and doing everything in my power to prevent this BS from happing where I live. I encourage all of you who live in the area to do the same. Get to know your neighbors, and be good to them. There's nothing like kindness to break down somebody's walls. Unfortunately, I don't know what else to do. Am I the only one who is upset by this? :angry:

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I agree with you and you have a point. We as a community should not tolerate one murder, robery, etc.

There are many good and hardworking people in your community. It's too bad a few idiots on the fringe of society take the cheap and easy way out.

Greater community awareness and education has to continue. We need to shine a massive spotlight (in a figurative sense) on these law breaking people. We need to make them sweat.

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Well, it's not just SE GR, if that's any reassurance. The US as a whole has seen steadily rising rates of violent crime in the last several years, with an overall jump of 2.5% in 2005 (5.7% in the Midwest, actually, the steepest of any region in the country.)

Possible reasons behind the increase are cutbacks in federal law enforcement funding due to an increased focus on terrorism abroad, increased gang activity nationwide, or maybe you could argue that the culture of the nineties (blame the media) made the kids who are just now growing up be more prone to violence.

The worst thing that can happen to a neighborhood in these circumstances is for a) everyone to freak out, pack up, and get out. and b) for the police to increase their presence exponentially. Usually, some increased police presence can help, but there is a risk of the area becoming an urban war zone, with more resentment being aimed at the police. Research has shown that heavy neighborhood opposition to crime can help, as well as more 'eyes on the street.' Neighborhood watch and gun buyback programs can help, if there is buy-in on the neighborhood level, and people actually participate.

I'm not sure what is going to happen in SE. I live near Wealthy in the Baxter neighborhood and, incidentally, am usually the only white face on the block, but I've never really gotten any racial flak, nor do i give it. Several friends of mine, though, white and black and in between, have recently packed up and left after incidents (say, getting their cars broken into countless times) made them lose faith in the revitalization efforts going on in that area, especially on Wealthy near Diamond and Fuller.

Positive change is going to take a very, very long time and a lot of courage on everyone's part, i'm afraid. Neighborhood decline is a slippery slope that is too easy to slide down, especially given systemic racism, concentrated pockets of poverty, and decision makers focused elsewhere. I think that the ministry going door to door will help to unify neighbors, but real change may be a matter of waiting it out, and actively working to keep the peace on a small level.

On a final note, I worked on a study in graduate school in which we studied violent crime patterns across the spectrum of urban, inner-ring suburb, and rural/exurban areas. We found that violent crimes in the city were most often of the targeted, premeditated variety, although with some significant "bystander damage." Violent incidents in suburban areas tended to be more random (except for violent acquaintance rape), and rural violence was the most random, and most often carried out as a consequence of drug use (i.e. the perpetrator was UI while committing the crime.) So, living in the city, try not to make enemies and be aware of your surroundings... and don't get too depressed.

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I've heard the problems in GR's souteast side discussed here to quite an extent. Although I don't have personaly knowledge of the area, to me just by the way everything sounds, being that it's sudden surge of crime, it will probably be short-lived. I would be extremely suprised if the same kind of things are going by the end of the year. I heard it said on here that there were some 25 shootings in the SE side in the last 6 months, and less than that many more throughout the rest of the city. To put it into perspective, I personally heard over the police scanner, about 50 shootings in Lansing last year, and I rarely listened to it in the second half, so even thought this crime wave may seem bad, GR is still pretty well off when it comes to crime.

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To put it into perspective, I personally heard over the police scanner, about 50 shootings in Lansing last year, and I rarely listened to it in the second half, so even thought this crime wave may seem bad, GR is still pretty well off when it comes to crime.

While that puts it in perspective, I think one of Rhino's biggest gripes is that it is happening within a mile of his/her house, and mine as well. It's tough to sit back and watch all this happen, but it's also tough to know what to do. You won't find me walking the two blocks to Logan and Diamond to ask the local teenagers (who seem to be on that corner 24 hours a day) what they think the solution is.

There's some more discussion in this thread:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=26763

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I am going to stick my neck out here but I think that this is an opportunity to keep an eye out for some of your neighbors who feel the same as you do. Find out if there is a neighborhood association, a crime watch group, and a specific contact person at the Police Department. If there is not, start one. Additionally, get as many of your neighbors who think and feel the same as you do, to get out of their houses and onto the front and rear porches and make their presents known in the neighborhood. Also tell them to do the same with the people that they know. You get people outside watching the streets, crime will notice, and go some place else. Social interaction in a community is one of the best possible crime deterrents.

Second, take inventory of your neighborhood and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. If you see cars that don

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I am going to stick my neck out here but I think that this is an opportunity to keep an eye out for some of your neighbors who feel the same as you do. Find out if there is a neighborhood association, a crime watch group, and a specific contact person at the Police Department. If there is not, start one. Additionally, get as many of your neighbors who think and feel the same as you do, to get out of their houses and onto the front and rear porches and make their presents known in the neighborhood. Also tell them to do the same with the people that they know. You get people outside watching the streets, crime will notice, and go some place else. Social interaction in a community is one of the best possible crime deterrents.

Second, take inventory of your neighborhood and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. If you see cars that don

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I have lived in East Hills for about 8 years now and even though the recent criminal activity does concern me, I have no intention of leaving. What it does most of all is make me angry; at the punks who are doing this and at people who say "I told you that living there was dangerous, why don't you move to the suburbs?" I am still very excited about this neighborhood- I have seen it change to a very vibrant place to live and what we don't need is a couple of hooligans messing it up. I agree with what was said, the best thing to do is don't freak out and run, and keep alert to what is going on. I never walk at night, but I wouldn't do that anywhere- I grew up in a rural area and walking at night there was dangerous too, since there are no sidewalks and cars race down the road at 70 mph. I have seen the houses in the area keep getting fixed up and the East Hills businesses are booming. We can't let this slow us down! I agree as well that this crime wave is temporary, especially if those doing it know that we are not going to put up with it and more people move here who also won't put up with it. This area has HUGE potential, especially being so close to a developing downtown, I can't wait to see what it will be like ten years from now!

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I agree that despite the recent violence, I hear that the neighborhood has more hope and neighborhood involvement than it has had in the past.

The Broken Windows Theory is similar to what michaelskis was talking about, in which Mayor Giuliani invested much of his law enforcement resources with much success.

I know it's easy for me to say sitting behind a computer and not living in your neighborhood right now.

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I am going to stick my neck out here but I think that this is an opportunity to keep an eye out for some of your neighbors who feel the same as you do. Find out if there is a neighborhood association, a crime watch group, and a specific contact person at the Police Department. If there is not, start one. Additionally, get as many of your neighbors who think and feel the same as you do, to get out of their houses and onto the front and rear porches and make their presents known in the neighborhood. Also tell them to do the same with the people that they know. You get people outside watching the streets, crime will notice, and go some place else. Social interaction in a community is one of the best possible crime deterrents.

Second, take inventory of your neighborhood and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. If you see cars that don

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Veloise, I live in the same neighborhood. Did you read the WoodTV article about the shooting?

Brother of victim doubts violence will cease

"He's gonna be missed. But life's gotta go on. Whoever did this, they already know who they gotta answer to." says Charez Brown.

This is what really bothers me about the situation. Great buddy, go off and create more violence instead of letting the police do their jobs. Unless I'm getting the wrong impression from that quote why would WoodTV make a threat like that public? I don't know why people feel the need to take things into their own hands and shed more blood than neccesary.

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Veloise, I live in the same neighborhood. Did you read the WoodTV article about the shooting?

Brother of victim doubts violence will cease

"He's gonna be missed. But life's gotta go on. Whoever did this, they already know who they gotta answer to." says Charez Brown.

This is what really bothers me about the situation. Great buddy, go off and create more violence instead of letting the police do their jobs. Unless I'm getting the wrong impression from that quote why would WoodTV make a threat like that public? I don't know why people feel the need to take things into their own hands and shed more blood than neccesary.

To me, that reads not as a threat, but as divine retribution pending for the shooter.

Something else that impresses me about this area: it really is a small town, and crooks seem to get caught within a day or two. Likely the PD already knows who the perp is and has him in their sights.

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To me, that reads not as a threat, but as divine retribution pending for the shooter.

Something else that impresses me about this area: it really is a small town, and crooks seem to get caught within a day or two. Likely the PD already knows who the perp is and has him in their sights.

Good point, I didn't think of it like that.

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What that whole area needs is a good shot of diversity of people and thought. Its just that simple. All of the areas around this part of town (East Hills, East Town, Heritage Hills, Alger Heights, Ottawa Hills, Wealthy street, and the area south of Hall and east of Fuller have a diverse population and have yet to see any of the crime and blight problems that have plagued that part of town where all of these shootings have taken place.

Once you start to see a population that:

A) takes care of their property. a little thing called "shame" will push other people to start making an effort to keep their house in better condition. Now People look around and say "Why should I waste the time and money if all the other houses on the street look like crap?". A little time and effort in appearance will make a world of difference. Just look at the corner of Wealthy and Fuller!

B) That is not afraid to call and aid the police in fighting crime. These thugs know that they have a population that either will not get involved or have some irrational idea that the police is the enemy. They can pretty much work right out in the open in many cases.

People in that area need to get tough. No more holding "summits" or having preachers walking the streets. This is obnoxious window dressing from clueless community "leaders" who still do not see this as a war on the good people of these neighborhoods.

Will it be tough? Heck yes! My parents live, thankfully, south of that area so it's still quiet on their block. However, my grandparents live almost in the middle of the action. They have had their house since the 50s and they have seen the whole area take a dive. But it is good to see people building new homes and new people move into these areas. Its helping to take these places back from the real criminal element. Maybe in 5-10 years it may be a totally different place.

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To me, that reads not as a threat, but as divine retribution pending for the shooter.

Something else that impresses me about this area: it really is a small town, and crooks seem to get caught within a day or two. Likely the PD already knows who the perp is and has him in their sights.

Man Arrested

And GRUrbanist, I don't think it's right to criticize the efforts of the local pastors and the neighborhood groups. At least they are engaged, building networks and trying to find a solution. Whether it is working is debatable, but all out war and vigilantism against the criminals ends up in more innocent bystanders getting in the crossfire (and is illegal).

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Personally, I think there should be MANDATORY anger managment class for the youths. Dealing with anger in a socially acceptable mannor is key. This can be one facet to the situation.

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The thought of metal detectors in schools is just insane, to me. When I was in school, we didn't even have guards, and that was only 3 years ago!

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Where'd you goto school?

In high school we had a police detail every few days of the week. The school had full-time rent-a-cops. Then I moved to a different to school that had a Kent County Sherrif detail. What made the school ship-shape was that Kent County would have the dogs in and around the school -- lock us down for a good half hour to inspect. It's sad, but its good -- a lot of the students found a new respect for law enforcement.

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The thought of metal detectors in schools is just insane, to me. When I was in school, we didn't even have guards, and that was only 3 years ago!

Where'd you goto school?

In high school we had a police detail every few days of the week. The school had full-time rent-a-cops. Then I moved to a different to school that had a Kent County Sherrif detail. What made the school ship-shape was that Kent County would have the dogs in and around the school -- lock us down for a good half hour to inspect. It's sad, but its good -- a lot of the students found a new respect for law enforcement.

I didn't have metal detactors or police at my school either. However, I think its a real testiment to our educational system that police & education have to be intertwined like this. Very unfortunate as schools should be the last place where a police presence should be necessary.

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I went to Wayland. Granted, for High School I attended a small 200-person K-12 school outside Byron Center, but when I left Wayland the sheer idea of security at schools was foreign. I believe 2 years after I left security was added after having received some 3-4 bomb threats the year before.

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Everyone's freaking out, and rightfuly so, about guns in schools. It's more than just a what's going on at our schools? problem. What's going on at home? I'm taking the Citizen's Police Academy offered by the Kent County Sheriff and we just heard from the officer in charge of "community policing" - the detail that places a cop within a high school. Currently in Kent County there are only a handful of these kinds of officers on duty. What may surprise you is that they're not there to crack down own the teen law breakers - (although many crimes in and around the schools do get solved) - they're there to build relationships with the kids, break down barriers and to listen and sometimes mentor kids. When an officer knows the kids - they're less likely to screw up. IMO, it all goes back to kids just wanting someone to notice them, pay attention to them and provide boundaries - something that for whatever reason may not be happening at home.

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I saw a great stat on TV last night:

1% of teen violence occurs at schools.

So we might hate the thought of needing metal detectors and police at schools, but I applaud the school systems of this country for taking the steps necessary to keep the majority of violent crimes away from what should be a community of learning.

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I just bought a house on the southeast side in Fairmount Square Historic district. East hills and Wealthy street are short walks away, and Eastown isn't too far either. I have been very excited about the idea of walking to local bars from my new home in the evenings, then waking up and catching a great breakfast at the Cherry Inn, Brandywine, or Wolfgangs.........

It would be interesting to hear how things are going for Rhino now that he has lived in the area for the summer. Dispite any crime issues, the whole area seems to keep chugging along.

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