The Country Club Manor Area (south of Highway 14, North of CR 34, West of West Circle Drive) has a population larger than all of Stewartville, but has an incredibly low crime rate. I would like to keep it that way. I was alerted to a situation in Judd Park which has moved me to act.
Tuesday evening I responded to a call from a concerned citizen about some littering and problem kids in Judd Park (off 3rd Street NW). I headed up there to look around, and called dispatch to see if the area officer was available to meet up there. I did not know at the time that another complaint had been made and the officer was already coming. Nor did I know that I was going to get a show.
Initially I met with the officer and we asked the patrons at the ball court (who are not from the area to pick up there litter). After doing that, I spent some time talking with the police officer about how things were going in the park. It turns out this park is becoming a problem. I would like to take care of this before something very serious happens. While talking with the officer we witnessed a fight break out. After heading back to the court the officer attempted to contact one of the combatants who refused to stop even after he was ordered to by the officer. While the combatant was attempting to leave the area, the officer whet to his car with the intent of preventing the individual from leaving the scene. I kept an eye on the individual so we didn’t lose him. He didn’t like it and decided to come after me.
This person came at me yelling profane and racist language. The officer came back before this guy had a chance to throw some punches (which I was happy about). Again he was abusive and refused to listen to the officer. Eventually the officer had to order my new friend to the ground by way of Taser (not used). In listing to the exchange as well as the mannerisms of the officer, I was impressed about how clear, direct, and well trained our officers are. While all of this was happening and the officer was waiting for backup (which took less than 5 minutes). The officer had to listen to vulger personal attacks and threats including a direct and clear threat to kill the officer and his family in his home.
Eventually the person in question was hauled away in handcuffs. Some additional neighbors came out, and told me more stories. One person who asked the group to clean up their litter had trash dumped on their driveway. Another person walking through the park was told, “We are going to rape you.” Another person was threatened with similar comments.
My job #1 is two fold. I need to keep the neighborhood safe AND I also want my officers to be safe and to that end I am going to recommend some actions:
- I will request some public safety changes which will not be made public to both make the park safer and try to make sure backup is available for responding officers.
- I will request that we take the drastic step of removing the basketball hoops (at the request of many neighbors) as they are bringing in a know serious criminal element.
- I will request that we add the park to a program we created recently that gives certain officer responsibility and flexibility for dedicated areas.
Finally, I am Italian, Polish, and Native American if you want to hurl racist or ethnic slurs at me, at least have the decency to pick on that applies. There are plenty to choose from. That way you are just a bigot as opposed to inaccurate and a bigot…
If you see situations like this in your neighborhood you need to let me know before something really bad happens.