Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Hawthorne Neighborhood Crime Stats Triumph--Well, Sort Of
Pictured above is Hawthorne Housing Director Jeff Skrenes, holding a map of the crime incidents in the Hawthorne Neighborhood. Why is Jeff smiling? He's smiling because...
...the map shows NO CRIMES IN THE ECO-VILLAGE AREA.
The Eco Villlage--which is bordered by Lyndale Ave. N., Lowry Ave N., 4th Street N., then to Lyndale via 30th Ave. N.--used to be "ground zero" in the war against crime. In fact, Mayor Rybak himself used the phrase "ground zero" when dedicating the tree nursery in that area.
It's been apparent for a long time that crime in the Eco Village area had gone WAY DOWN, despite the orderly and well-regulated pill house and crack smoking lounge at 3020 6th St. N.
However, just how much crime had dropped took us as a bit of a surprise. A few days ago Jeff just about BOUNCED UP TO ME with the latest neighborhood crime map in hand. There had been NO CRIME IN THE ECO VILLAGE AREA. In fact, there were big swaths beyond the Eco Village with no crime, also.
This week, me and Neighborhood Chair Peter Teachout went driving all over Hawthorne, looking for crime we could call in to 911. We must have driven around for half an hour. We found nothing. NOTHING. This should have been like a triumphant tour but, well...I must confess, I was a bit bored.
And, besides, our victory tastes like ashes. There was the shooting at 29th and Aldrich Ave. N. in which two children were injured, merely standing a block away. Their bodies just happened to be where the bullets ended up.
Just a week before, I had been driving around with Brian Reichow and I used Brian's phone to call the police on a group of minors out after curfew AT THAT VERY CORNER. But the minors who were hit in this incident were apparently doing exactly what they were supposed to do, waiting for a field trip.
It's very difficult to revel in the triumph of a dry little map of crime stats when some children have been hit by a random bullet in the very heart of our neighborhood, which is Farview Park.
Jeff's smile was genuine, but momentary. We have a long ways to go.