Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Polite, Forceful and Hopping Mad!

Two Woodstock residents laid into the City Council last night and expressed high displeasure with the “community policing” program of the Woodstock Police Department.

I arrived shortly after the beginning of the meeting, when a woman was reading a sharply-worded, well-written statement to the Council and asking pointed questions. Her remarks were followed by those of her husband, a retired police officer. He spoke well and without notes. The gist of their complaints is that the strong police presence around the Square has drained off protection levels elsewhere in Woodstock.

Their home in the Prairie Ridge subdivision was apparently damaged to the extent of $12,000, and they and other residents are concerned about the scarcity of police protection in the middle of the night; say, between 9:00PM and 4:00AM, when there might be one sergeant and three officers on duty. It’s easy to imagine that one serious call can require all four, and not just briefly.

What is the real extent of gang activity in Woodstock? My sense is that much information about Woodstock gang activity is not released to the press; if it is, then the press is choosing to be selective in its reporting of it to the public.

The law-abiding People of Woodstock are not going to tolerate gang activity, but we’ve got to know about it in order to take effective action against it.

More details will follow. I stayed at the Council meeting to hear the consultants discuss the parking study.


Gus said...

See the Northwest Herald, 9/4/08, Page 3C for "Residents complain of roaming 'punks'." Read it online at; search for "graffiti".

Reporter Tim Kane hits the nail on the head about the complaints of residents to the City Council at last Tuesday's meeting.

what the woodstock nuisance meant to say said...

Those at the Council meeting I spoke with mentioned they had never seen anybody so out of control at a public forum. "Almost foaming at the mouth..."

Gus said...

Sorry, nuisance, you got bad information. The husband and wife I heard were polite, professional, well-spoken, firm, straight-forward and made their points well.

Unfortunately, there may be some in Woodstock who would view anyone who questioned local policies and who refused to settle for less than adequate response as "foaming at the mouth."

How about showing up at the next 2-3-4 City Council meetings? The residents of that neighborhood are quite likely to attend to hear the City's report on action and results.

what the woodstock nuisance meant to say said...

My information was good. Your second sentence shows your bias. Maybe the cops should run their lawnmower over there. I also seem to recall some bleeting about increasing Square police presence on this very blog. Take your pick. Live with your choices.

Gus said...

My second sentence: "The husband and wife I heard were polite, professional, well-spoken, firm, straight-forward and made their points well."

Yes, indeed. I am definitely biased toward solid, factual, professional presentations. Both gave solid information about damage in their neighborhood and to their own home and made specific requests for action.

They are assets to Woodstock.

what the woodstock nuisance meant to say said...

You win. I meant the second paragraph.

captainobvious said...

If the resume is suspect the crime wave may be so too.

Pott Gusphil said...

As tax-paying Americans, we all have the right to the expectation of privacy which should include our property. That being said, my comments about this issue shouldn't be mistaken as being inconsiderate of this fact:

First of all, theft is a crime of opportunity. The residents of Prairie Ridge need to remember this fact the next time they choose to leave their cars parked in their driveways unlocked, choose to leave their garage doors open overnight and choose to leave their homes, sheds, etc. unsecured (unlocked). If you don't believe this happens, I encourage you to drive through the neighborhood in the early morning hours sometime. I don't understand why people (and this isn't just the folks who live in Prairie Ridge) choose to do this.

As our town's population continues to increase (currently almost 25,000), the incidence of crime will follow. Woodstock is no longer a "small" town where people should feel comfortable leaving their cars unlocked overnight with the keys in the ignition. Heck, you might not even know everyone who lives on your block anymore! Anyway, my point is that people need to take the steps necessary to protect themselves and stop enabling the thieves.

Gus, nuisance doesn't have bad information. The particular residents you speak of who spoke-out at the city council meeting are quite frequently over-zealous. In all fairness, I wasn't at the city-council meeting, so I can't verify their demeanor that night, but let's just say "it's not their first rodeo." They are habitual "complainors." Seemingly everything that goes wrong in their lives is the fault of the Woodstock Police Department. I'm not positive of every fact leading to them (their property) being vandalized. I had heard that either them or their children had gotten into a "riff" with others that led to them being targeted. Does this make the vandalism and/or grafitti right? Absolutely not! But, please, take their complaints with a "grain of salt" because they (like you, Gus)unfortunately perpetuate the "culture of complaint" that we currently live in. (Google this phrase if you're interested.)

Gus said...

Many thanks for your thoughtful, and thought-provoking, comments.

Above, "nuisance" had written, "Those at the Council meeting I spoke with mentioned they had never seen anybody so out of control at a public forum. 'Almost foaming at the mouth...' "

I was there. No one was out-of-control. No one could be described as "almost foaming at the mouth." That's the part of the information he got that was untruthful, erroneous, wrong. In other words, someone (who apparently was there) lied to him.

what the woodstock nuisance meant to say said...

I would trust the people with whom I spoke with my life. As a matter of fact, I do. Nice try I'm not taking the bait. Whats this about a resumee (sorry no accent)?

Gus said...

Maybe captainobvious will enlighten all of us about his "resume" comment.

The crime wave in that neighborhood is not "suspect." The crime wave is real, and I understand that it is documented at the Woodstock P.D. You'd never know it because of the absence of newspaper articles about it.

A standard question for reporters gathering news at police departments should be, "What has happened in the past week that you haven't told us?"