"Area watch" needed to combat crime
Letter to the Editor
Last updated 9/21/2016 at 9:54am
I read and agreed with Larry Price’s letter in The Star 9/14/2016 issue, “Concerning the current drug and crime issues in the Coulee Dam area.” I see it 24/7 in my area, day and night. I can get up in the middle of the night seeing groups and/or loners with back packs, and they all go to one place in particular, but there is another that is growing in popularity too.
GCHA (Grant County Housing Authority) finally stepped up and evicted/removed some of the problems in their housing. It took much corresponding, but it finally worked. I got discouraged many, many times, but persisted, so I can tell you IT WORKS!! Now it appears as if The HUD Housing, in my area, has cleared out most of the trouble, only leaving a couple where there were five or more. So again, IT DOES WORK!
Real common sights in my neighborhood are hoodies, multiple spare gas cans in the backs of vehicles, in the day and night hours, exchange of products (ranging from cell phone, fishing pole, car stereos, tires and expensive wheels, to name a few) and the constant switching of their clothing, vehicles, and parking places.
And the vast majority of these persons are walking skeletons. The drugs they use are destroying their bodies, their brains, but worse, their lives! I know that most don’t work, but they all can afford nice phones, multiple tattoos, pot (legally), and whatever other drug of choice, which I believe they get from exchange of services rendered. They appear to be more brazen at night while normal people are doing what normal people do, getting rest so they can go to work the next day. I believe that my area is the hub, but know there are many, many spokes to this hub, and see it growing daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. I have proof, just ask! The Coulee area does have a very “huge” problem, and it’s not going to go away by ignoring it!
I also want to say that I have been on the opposite end of where I stand now. I was blaming our police officers for not doing their jobs. I can’t apologize enough for that. I know Grand Coulee does a great job for all of us. It took me a lot of corresponding to many agencies (local, county and state) to finally realize that. Seeing our police drive the criminals a long distance to Grant County Jail, just for those individuals to be released and their crimes downplayed, or arresting these criminals and having to release them because there is just no room at the inn (jail) is discouraging for me and others, but I can only imagine what the police officers must feel. They do their jobs and they do them well, and the system slams the door in their faces!
So I’m asking that you not blame our police; they truly are our saving grace to this problem. We all need to concentrate on changing the laws. But what we all need to do is join forces for what Larry Price suggested. If you are fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where you are all on the same page for a block watch, do it! I, however, am not in that situation, so I would like to get involved with an “area watch,” and as a whole we can come up with ways to slow the increasing spread of criminal activities. I know it’s not going to be quick, but it will pay off over time.