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Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Soft Southside , Hard at Harding

Back in July, CMPD released results of a survey conducted which they claimed was a customer satisfaction survey of all of Charlotte about the job the police department was doing and how safe everybody felt.  They did not, however, get any kind of statistically relevant numbers and seemed to go on a promotional tour of interviews that really wasn’t talking about crime or policing.

Forty-five percent (45%) of the respondents to the survey were located in the South Charlotte Division, with one of the lowest crime rates in Charlotte, if not the lowest.

Naturally, a fair portion of these people would say they feel fairly safe in their homes and areas, but Chief Monroe still points to the overall numbers as a demand for more officers at the same time.  Which is it:  is everyone safer, with crime down?  OR do we need more officers because of higher crime rates.

If we could just see the crime data that has been removed by Chief Monroe from, and have access to all the reports to figure out why CMPD’s numbers are so terribly off from what they report in different locations, we might know the answer.

Meanwhile, consider again the attitude directed toward different parts of town.  A recent post shows the absolute throw-away treatment by elected officials and the management of the CMPD of the Camp Greene Neighborhood Association looking for assistance with a halfway house for 75 possibly violent prisoners that a contractor wanted (or maybe still wants) to release into their residential area next to playgrounds, churches, schools, and homes.  The post compares this to what documents and reports show are a ‘special-op’ of some kind launched to discover the thief of some plastic campaign yard signs for Patrick Cannon’s campaign supporter, after he made a call to the higher-ups at CMPD (the highest). 

Now see that there’s a contest of sorts going on in five South Charlotte neighborhoods.  Officers are spending time basically looking for people who have left their property vulnerable, and competing for a trophy if they don’t have their stuff sitting around unlocked.  And a sign. 

It seems like they did this last year, although this hasn’t been verified—but it also seems like this is another Public Relations ploy to say that the police are active and involved in Neighborhood Watch.  Why go around tagging people who don’t care enough to roll up car windows, keep wallets out of unlocked cars, close garage doors when not inside, etc… (as the police say they’re targeting) and ignore Neighborhood Watch groups begging for help, such as Camp Greene?  Is there a proven decrease in serious crime from conducting such busy work that could not better be accomplished more widely with other means?

Also, ALL Neighborhood Watch groups and all of Charlotte would benefit from having the Significant Event Logs, Watch Commander Logs, Calls For Service, Crime Reports, and more available to the public.  It is public information and must be reinstituted to public review.

Meanwhile, across at the Harding High School, reports of crime have increased by four times and there have been death threats.  Specific dates with threats have been issued.  Harding High School is located on Alleghany between Freedom Drive and the Billy Graham Parkway.   Many parents don’t feel they’re getting enough information or help.  At least one Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board Member agrees.

Harding was put on lock-down October 27th after a threat to shoot and kill a student was phoned in to the school.  Other details have not been released.  Since then, graffiti indicating turf wars of a sort has damaged large parts of the school.  At a School Board Meeting last night, the plan was for the Board to receive a report about the Harding School situation.  However, the report has been postponed until December 13th.  With all of the violent threats, and what students and parents report as daily fights, this postponement should not be tolerated.

WCNC’s Ben Thompson reports “the members will now hear the report on December 13, when two new members will take their seats on the Board.  Kaye McGarry was the sole dissenter, voting to view the report Wednesday.

"Let's just sweep it under the rug. We don't want the public to know," McGarry chided her colleagues. "The kids are scared. The parents are scared. This has become a security issue."

If you ask anyone else in charge, they’ll probably tell you everything is fine.

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