Saturday, March 1, 2008

the neighbors are watching you

this was on the bloomingdale email listserv yesterday, and i feel it deserves a wider audience:

I just wanted to let the neighborhood know that I just wrote an email to Dana Jones, the CEO of UPO about a transaction a few days ago between a person delivering food from UPO to the residents of the basement of 62 T St. NW.

These are the same residents who were the center of a task force raid in the fall of last year due to their drug dealing and use. On Monday [2/25/2008], while the UPO employee was supplying the residents with enough food for a month, he followed the male occupant into the basement empty handed, even though there were a few more loads of food to go. He returned a few seconds later and continued unloading food, then the resident reemerged and subtly handed the driver some cash that was rolled up.

I guess my personal opinion is that the resident's shouldn't be receiving support from UPO because they are more than capable of getting a legal job that provides income. You can agree or disagree with that, but I think that we should agree that UPO shouldn't be providing these residents/drug dealers with customers disguised as noble employees.

Moreover, as I was writing that, I overheard the male resident from 62 T St. NW trying to quietly sell a TV/DVD player and a Stereo to another neighbor a few houses down. So if anyone is missing these items, 62 T St. might still have them, although it looked like he was trying to unload them pretty quickly because as soon as the neighbors told him they weren't interested he ran down the street looking for more buyers... or more things to sell.

I guess the point of this is to let the community know that we have problem residents in the neighborhood, and we aren't going to let their actions go unnoticed.

there are positives and negatives to the proximity of urban life, and lack of privacy is one of those things. i'm not going to say which category that lack falls into. one thing i do believe is that it's a good thing when people in the neighborhood look out for each other. i do feel that there is a fine line that can be crossed when keeping an eye out for illegal activity.

simply 'strange' behavior might catch your attention, but if people aren't breaking laws, then hey, don't bug them. but if there is a criminal enterprise in the neighborhood though, i think it's fair that it gets rooted out. if someone is fencing hot items out of their basement, that can only be a magnet for bigger and more heinous criminality.

of course, the issue of guilt is not one that we, the neighborhood, can determine by simple observation. but, if there is reasonable suspicion that something nefarious is going down here, i think it's only fair that the police check it out.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I just wanted to say thank you and let you know I read your blog just about everyday, and have even posted a few times but under different names, you have almost inspired me to start my own blog, but I am not nearly as articulate as you, so I’ve decided to leave the blogging to you.
As far as my blurb, I may have been ranting, and I might not have been very clear about the level of surveillance I keep on my neighbors, so let me try to explain. I have lived in Bloomingdale for a little over a year, and visiting the area for 2, and in that time 62 T st. has been raided by a drug task force, I have had racial slurs directed to me by the female resident, and have had the male resident and his friends hanging out in my yard. I like to think I am very observant and perceptive, and as a young male from the Midwest, these are the type of things that are going to make me very suspicious. Maybe I’m profiling these residents, but until I am proven wrong, and until I can feel comfortable in my own front yard, I am going to continue to be suspicious.
Since writing the blurb, we have gotten a response from Mr. Dana Jones, who mentioned that UPO doesn’t have any scheduled deliveries to the unit block of T St. This driver is delivering this food without authorization from UPO, and after delivering a months worth of food on Monday, the driver was back on Friday, but there was no food dropped of this time, must have only been a drug transaction. Dana said that most of the UPO vans are equipped with GPS and they are going to continue looking into this situation because they are only interested in help those who are truly in need.
I understand I am making a lot of assumption when it comes to what is going on between this UPO driver and the resident, but I am sick and tired of watching these residents drink and smoke out in the middle of the street while kids are going to and from school. I’m also sick and tired of the complacency of authority. I thought the raid was going to be a turning point in the neighborhood, but two days later they were back to the same old habits like nothing had happened, and I’m afraid nothing has happened.

IMGoph said...

suspicious resident: i just wanted to let you know, i'm not accusing you of doing anything wrong. i guess my title for this post was a little sensationalistic, but hey, you've gotta do that to get butts in the seats!

i'm no fan of the stop snitchin' culture (i don't call it snitchin', i call it taking care of your damn neighborhood!), so i appreciate what you're doing.

Anonymous said...

The graffiti on the boarded up storefront doorway across 1st Street needs to be reported to the city. I'd do it, but I live blocks away and you live within eyesight of that particular location. Would you please report it?

- concerned neighbor.

IMGoph said...

concerned neighbor: that graffiti has been reported twice. there are various city workers going past it every day, and they do nothing about it. short of me going out there and painting it myself, i don't see anything happening. this is a case where the bureaucracy just doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

I suppose this is the reason why the city isn't being aggressive with graffiti; they put the responsibility on the property owner. But this does no good in the case of vacant property!,a,1201,q,638480,dpwNav_GID,1479.asp