Another crime prevention meeting held tonight
Another crime prevention meeting was held at Pete’s Place, 4520 Eighth Avenue, tonight. This was initiated by the Union Park Neighborhood Watch Program. Fifty people were in attendance, and crime prevention officer Jeff Wamboldt was present, as well as two alderpersons. They were Eric Haugaard representing the first district, and Chris Schwartz representing the second district. Wamboldt said that he thought it was a great turnout.
Wamboldt passed out whistles, Neighborhood Watch (NW) packets containing identity theft brochures, NW window clings, a contact phone numbers sheet, and an old NW newsletter.
Wamboldt reiterated a lot of what was presented last night at the McKinley crime prevention meeting, such as the three components of Neighborhood Watch, the “crime triangle” or the “crime equation,” and the “broken window theory.” To read about this meeting, click here: McKinley Crime Prevention Meeting.
The curfew problem was discussed, and the residents of these two districts had some ideas for changing the curfew hours. John Fox suggested a staggered curfew: Raise the age to 15 for midnight, or make it 10 p.m. Or, have ages 15 to 18 permitted to say out til midnight. Someone also suggested the curfew in the park changed from 10 p.m. to sunset. These are changes that the alderpersons would have to sponsor, and the Common Council would have to approve.
Residents asked if it was ok to take pictures of groups of kids during the day that looked suspicious, and Wamboldt said yes. Drug houses were discussed, as well as nuisance houses.
Brent Trowle asked if it was illegal to ride a bike at night without lights, and Wamboldt said yes. Trowle called for increased enforcement of this ordinance, plus walking in the middle of the street. Wamboldt explained about “the stack,” which is the list of police calls, prioritized by importance.
Graffiti problems were also discussed. Wamboldt called it “tagging,” and he suggested calling the police. “It’s not true that police can’t do anything about it unless they catch the perpetrators in the act,” he said. “There is evidence that is sometimes left behind, such as spray paint cans, that can be traced back to the store where it was purchased. Yes, it’s true, that if it’s on private property, that it’s up to you to clean it up.”
Recent strong-arm robberies were also discussed. Wamboldt gave the following advice, “Don’t go out walking alone, don’t be out late at night. Be a hard target. Walk confidently.”
Another lady was concerned with the Latin Kings graffiti problems. “The graffiti bothers me, but what bothers me even more is the gang element.”
Wamboldt reminded the attendees that there is strength in numbers. “Don’t be afraid to call. I understand about your fear of retaliation. If you and your neighbors call, then who is he going to retaliate against? All of you?”
Trowle asked if Union Park had cameras in it, and Wamboldt answered that it does not. Wamboldt did say that there is a pilot program being proposed to wire Union Park with cameras. Trowle said that is something that he would definitely like to see.
Wamboldt encouraged all residents to start phone trees and lists. Sign-up sheets were passed around in order to gather residents’ contact information. Wamboldt said that e-mails are sent out in order to share information quickly and to get residents’ assistance in locating certain persons of interest.
Another resident asked about putting cameras on their homes, and Wamboldt said that was ok. “Although, don’t aim the cameras at your neighbor’s house or window or yard. We don’t want you getting into trouble.”
Art work in Union Park was discussed. Melanie Hovey, from Lemon Street Gallery, made a comment that the cylinder in the park will be a mosaic starting on Friday.
The proper age to leave a child home alone was generally given as 12. “Although,” Wamboldt said, “you have to look at what a reasonable person believes to be true. Sometimes there are very mature 10-year-olds who can stay home alone. On the other hand, there are some very immature 14-year-olds.”
Linda Ruffolo urged her neighbors to be vigilant and watch what’s going on. Just call it in,” she said. “If it’s something that makes you feel uncomfortable, call it in.”
Another resident asked Wamboldt if it was legal for us to restrain someone. He replied, “I don’t recommend it, but you can. I don’t want you to get hurt. You can restrain the person while you call the police. But, don’t do anything more until the police arrive.”
Hovey encouraged all to “friend” the Kenosha Union Park Project Facebook page, and Wamboldt encouraged all to “friend” the Kenosha Police Department Facebook page as well.
Trowle also wanted to see an ordinance against kids loitering in the parks, playing loud music, and “tailgating.” Wamboldt said that this was a city issue. Other residents said that the kids have a right to be there. Schwartz commented that there is a noise ordinance in place to address this very issue.
The Kenosha Police non-emergency number is: (262) 656-1234. To call either one of the two Neighborhood Watch officers, dial: (262) 657-3937. Their e-mail address is: [email protected] if you’d like to e-mail them instead. To reach Alderperson Chris Schwartz, dial: (262) 620-3727.