I went for my regular backlane walk on Sunday afternoon. It was not as bitterly cold as it had been on Saturday. There was a light snow falling, and a bit of a breeze, but for the most part it was a nice winter day if you dress for it.
The snow plows had been down the back lanes earlier in the morning, so everyone was out in the lanes shovelling out their driveways. So, along with our garbage walk, my husband and I were able to stop and talk to the neighbours as we walked down the lanes. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, getting a bit of a workout as they cleared snow. They were all aware of the murder that took place just a few streets over. In fact, as we walked down the lanes, a police car was slowly making its way down the lane following a constable, who seemed to be looking for something. They went along with their business, and we went along with ours.
One of the back lane shovellers was a landlord, who was out clearing slow. He expressed his concern for the neighbourhood, saying only in Canada can it get this bad, where there is no punishment for crimes, especially youth crimes. He also commented on one of the boarded houses. He said it was a negative image for the neighbourhood, as well as lost revenue for the owner.
As our walk started, my husband found a knife in the lane. He was wondering if it would be an item of interest to the Police. While we were out walking, we took the opportunity to walk over to the crime scene on Redwood, as there were still police cars parked in the area protecting the investigation. The knife was mentioned to the Police, and we were informed that they were not looking for a knife in relation to the murder. At that time, it was not publicized that the person was beated to death. We thanked the officers for their time, and went on our way. Sometimes a kitchen knife is just a kitchen knife, but you don't know unless you ask.
I was thinking about the way I approach police when I go toward their car, or how I react when they drive by. I remove my hood, and lower my scarf. I want to make sure I do not appear to be concealing anything. If I have sun glasses on, they come off. When police drive by, I make a point of looking at them and waving, with a friendly smile, ensuring my face is showing. All too often, in this neighbourhood especially, people go down the street with hoods up and faces concealed. Even in the summer, it is often hard to tell who is passing you on the road. But for me, I try to stay friendly, and let people know who I am as I pass them. This is all part of making my part of the world a neighbourhood, and not a 'hood'.
We have some good neighbours, people who care about their property, and the area. These good neighbours are home owners and landlords alike. And we are all just doing our little bit in making this part of the world a good place.