Ron Reid representing the Central Austin Neighborhood Association
I spoke last month about the moral imperative to address the epidemic levels of “nuisance crimes” that have devastated the quality of life in the Austin Community.
We have seen some improvement in reducing levels of loitering and public drinking on a few of our corners.
We have seen a visible increase in patrols through our neighborhood and we appreciate this.
What has not been addressed is an uptick of drinking and drug use in cars, particularly on N. Mason, Mayfield and Menard. This is troubling on many levels. Not only is this a nuisance that generates garbage, but these impaired drivers are on our streets. I was a witness to a one of these vehicles slamming into a parked car in front of my home. The driver got out, looked at the damage and drove off. I was able to get the plates and a description and I called it in to 911. The police were never dispatched to the call.
The car that was damaged by this driver happened to belong to the family of Chicago Police Officer. I informed the officer the next day about the hit and run and he called in and was advised they had no record of my call. Fortunately I was able to give him the plates and description so that he could pursue justice for his family member.
This type of event and response has become all too common in our neighborhood.
We must have a change in how policing and dispatching are done in our community.
We must creatively and aggressively begin to address the role that inadequate policing has had on the quality of life in the Austin community.