Thursday, October 16, 2008

Community Policing

You know when something doesn't feel right? That's how it's been in the neighborhood lately. It's tough to describe, but I'm sure the economy's at least partially to blame. People are doubling and tripling up in residences, moving in family members who can't afford to stay where they are. The sardine effect can't be good for one's sanity, and I understand the need to blow off some steam on occasion.

Just not directly in front of my house, if you please.

Lately we've seen a slew of loitering teens on the block. A couple years ago these were nice little kids; now they're surly, hormonal adolescents with nothing to do but stir up trouble.

Last night, when I came home from work, four bricks were missing from my sad but earnest attempt to landscape the parkway. Where are they now? In the front seat of someone's car after going through a windshield? Waiting to be lobbed through a bay window? Needless to say, it doesn't sit well.

So I dutifully attend our community policing meetings once a month. That's Sergeant Mattson on the right. He's pretty much exactly what you'd ask for in an officer: smart, level-headed, reassuring, as quick to sympathize with victims of society as with victims of crime. He lacks the swagger of most police officials, which makes him aces in my book. Plus he's started calling me by name, and he's going to help me with our latest conundrum: a chronic car horn at 5am, Monday through Friday, from an SUV picking up one of our neighbors. After two straight months, it was time to call for back-up. Nice to have friends in high places, even if you're not keen on everything they represent.


kkurtz said...

I know exactly what you mean. there has definitely been a funky vibe on my evening dog walks of late. lots of screeching tires & teens running through the streets. (makes one dream of quiet country lanes)

leslie said...

Is officer Mattsen wearing a bulletproof vest to a meeting??

You may seek asylum at the vonHolten homestead any time! Cold comfort, I know, but from the bottom of my heart.

Christy said...

It is indeed a bulletproof vest. It's funny, because I've never noticed this wardrobe choice before, so he was either on duty that night, worried about some volatility in the area, or trying to add the slight bit of machismo that's refreshingly absent from his person. I'm hoping for option 1 :-).