All-NSN Meeting - 01/19/08 - Plus Evaluation
Written by NSN Coordinator   

The first full Neighborhood Support Network meeting took place from 1 - 4 PM on Saturday, January 19, 2008 at the Freedom Park Center, 5000 E. 29th St. Tucson. There were 47 neighborhood leaders from 35 neighborhoods in attendance.  Neighborhoods represented were:

Barrio CentroJefferson ParkRichland Heights East
Blenman ElmKeelingRosemont West
CabriniLa MaderaSaguaro Miraflores
Campbell GrantMidtownSam Hughes
CivanoMidvale ParkSan Clemente
Colonia del ValleMiramonteSanta Cruz SW
Dodge FlowerMitmanSombras del Cerro
El EncantoMountain 1st AvSunnyside
Enchanted HillsMountain ViewToumey Park
Glenn HeightsPalo VerdeVista del Monte
Grant SilverbellPeter HowellWest University
Haciendas de OestePrince - Tucson 

After signing in, neighborhood leaders enjoyed a small buffet and refreshments as they mingled for the first part of the meeting. Don Ijams, Network Coordinator, called the meeting to order at 1:40 PM. He welcomed all in attendance, handled logistics and ground rules, discussed the recent history of the Network and showed the NSN website through a projector. Ijams demonstrated the electronic forum, showed various sections of the content and invited NSN members to provide content for the website from newsletters and elsewhere.

attendeesattendeesPictures by Andy Stevensattendees

Meeting attendees spent the rest of the afternoon in two 45 minute small group discussions, choosing among three topics: crime, transportation and development. Notes from these small group discussions are as follows:

Crime Small Group Discussion

In two 45 minute discussion sessions, 25-30 neighborhood leaders talked over a number of aspects of crime in their neighborhoods. Tucson Police Officer Bob Greenwood commented on various programs and offered insights as the discussion proceeded.

Neighborhood Watch

Off. Greenwood told the group that neighborhood watch, done right, can be effective. Watch groups need to be active and sustained to achieve best results. The best results are achieved by having a ‘leader’ who makes sure the group gets together, is aware of goings on, disseminates information – takes the ball and runs with it, engaging the others in the group. People need to extend their definitions of “personal space” from:

  • near where you are in your house
  • to your front door
  • to the edge of your property

to “extended personal space”:

  • to the curb
  • to the street, easements and alleys
  • to your neighbors’ houses part of the way down the street.

This extra territory needs to become part of your personal space. You need to feel ownership and to be concerned about people, cars and activity in this extended area.
Police Continuity and Participation

A number of leaders wished TPD could arrange for more continuity in the officers dealing with them. A good working relationship is valuable, takes time to develop and should not be broken up by officer reassignment too easily.

While much appreciated by neighbors, officers could use some training in how to manage themselves in neighborhood meetings. Some officers are naturals at presentation and time management. Others go on and on, sometimes off topic and not conscious of their time limit in a crowded agenda. Communication within TPD to the presenting officer sometimes gets muddled or lost.

An idea proposed was that of a Neighborhood Template which every officer could use at their visit to NA meetings.  This would be beneficial to all – keeping on track – and if the NA is requesting specifics for their meeting, this would be conveyed far in advance of the scheduled meeting.  The expectation would be the question would be answered.  This however needs to come from TPD management as to attendance at meetings, or coverage if the assigned officer is not available.

Email Watch Groups

A number of neighborhoods have email watch groups, which are groups of people who nearly instantly report suspicious activity and recent crimes to each other through email. Sam Hughes and Peter Howell are examples.

Other items:

  • A welcome packet for new neighbors allows neighborhood representatives to meet families new to the area and to subtly indicate that the neighborhood cares about its people and how they act.  Blenman-Elm used this concept to deal with UA students who made their presence known with loud/late parties.  Residents greeted them by baking cookies and stopping by their house to welcome them and let the students know about appropriate decorum!
  • People walking in the neighborhood should be “aggressively hospitable” toward people they meet, stepping up to greet others (with due concern for personal safety) and let them know that the neighborhood is alert and that anonymous passage through the area is not going to happen.
  • Connections made under the auspices of Neighborhood Watch can carry over to other areas of neighborhood life.
  • Become neighborly with your neighbors, understand the comfort zone as to sharing information with neighbors ‘watch my house – I’ll watch yours’
  • Some seniors are not feeling safe in areas they’ve lived in most of their lives.
  • Improve the speed and ease of access to neighborhood crime statistics. Provide a link to crime statistics on the NSN website.
  • Meet again for follow-up/continuing discussions on crime.

A followup/continuing discussion meeting is planned for 4:40 - 6:30 PM, Wed. Jan. 30 at the Martha Cooper Library, 1377 N. Catalina (NE of Speedway and Columbus)

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 February 2008 )
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