We had a meeting on the street last night. It wasn't scheduled, just one of those things that developed naturally through the unfolding of events.
I was sitting on the front steps relaxing and reading a book. My neighbour was on her steps having supper. Nothing out of the ordinary, it was a quiet night. Well, it was quiet until a police car came onto the street. It turned off Main Street, rushed to the first stop sign, stopped, looked both ways, then raced past us at high speeds to the end of our block. The car stopped, then accelerated again to the end of the next block.
The smell of burnt rubber was in the air from the fast acceleration and sudden stops of the cruiser. The neighbour and I both went onto the boulevard in front of our houses to see where the police car stopped. We could see a second cruiser car in the distance. Not sure what they were after, but they sure got there in a hurry. And the odor of burnt rubber was still thick in the air.
Slowly, the other neighbours gathered. Another meeting on the street. And another discussion on crime and issues in the North End.
The rooming house has had parties the last few nights again, starting at 1-2am and lasting until 5-6am. After a conversation with the landlord, I was told they would be getting their final warning letter. Sometimes I wonder what the point of it all is. How much of our time is wasted in communications with this landlord regarding bad tenants. Every few months, after complaints pile up, the people are removed, only to be replaced with more of the same. Then the cycle starts over again. The landlord is cooperative in removing bad tenants. That doesn't seem to be the issue. What I want to know is, when will this landlord begin to put good tenants in the building?
In other news, there was an attempted break and enter down the street a few days earlier. I know this because I was listening to the police scanner and heard my street mentioned. Then I saw the police cars come onto the street. They didn't make a noise. Two cars responded to the call. These are the type of issues that are not reported in the news. They are not shown in police releases. They are only talked about on the police scanner. I find it helpful, for my own piece of mind, knowing why the police come onto the street. I wish I didn't have to listen to the scanner to find out what goes on though. Most of the other neighbours listen to the scanner as well. I wonder if it is just a North End thing that so many of us are listening to the scanner. Do we, as a community, tune in to the police radio because it is the only way we can be kept informed of issues in our neighbourhood and on our street? This is something I have never done before. Not when I lived in Charleswood, Fort Rouge, Brooklands or Wolseley. But on my street, this seems to be how we stay informed. We listen the news, read the newspaper, get police reports, crime-stat, listen to the police scanner, and have our periodic neighbourhood meetings where information is shared. Sometimes it feels like a full time job, just keeping informed.
Did you know that my area has more gun icons showing than any other area of the North End for the year? Why would those instances not all be reported, at least in the media releases? One icon is for the woman on Mountain and Aikens that was supposedly shot in the buttocks while in her front yard. I saw the police presence that day. But what about the other two icons. What about two days later, on Fathers Day? Where was the news release explaining that shooting icon? Crime-Stat is not set up with the ability to click on an icon to get further information. It is just an icon that says shots were fired on my street. How disturbing is that! Wouldn't a neighbourhood want to know just a little more about the incident? I sure do. So maybe it's time to re-think how crime related news is distributed in this city. With the number of people listening to the police scanners, it is evidence that citizens want to know what is happening in their neighbourhoods and on their streets. Start keeping us informed. Please.