Being an urban homesteader and living in the city, I have grown accustomed to seeing neighbors, passerbys and people in general at their best and at their worst.
I have always been an accepting individual and living in an urban environment, I have learned to love people and see the good in all the residents of Syracuse. But there are a few things where I cut the cord, things that I will not tolerate in my neighborhood; in my city; gangs, drugs and other criminal activities.
For the better part of my day, I am not alone in the woods or on a farm, I am living amongst other people, other ethnicities, other languages. My landscape is not rolling fields, a clear mountain brook or some other bucolic country setting; but sidewalks, street lights, sirens from emergency vehicles and of course the people of my community. It’s gritty, rough and tumble and it needs help.
So when I see disgraceful criminal elements encroaching on my city ‘stead, I get angry, frustrated and I hurt. Because there’s so many good people in my neighborhood, my community, that don’t want this either.
Because these streets, these sidewalks; these are my beautiful golden cornfields. My front yard; this is my pasture and myself, neighbors, well, we’re sick of hoodlums and thugs ruining the view. We’ll take a pass on stolen handguns, drugs, the prostitution, we just want to live peacefully and quietly and respectfully, something gangbangers don’t want to abide by.
I look back now and I thought I had it bad when on one Halloween someone stole my pumpkins. Until this year when a couple weeks ago there was a shooting on a Sunday morning at 11:15 and a homicide several blocks east of my bungalow.
That’s why we’re fighting back, taking our neighborhood back from the inner-city gangbangers, back from the violence.
So to help other urbanites I have listed some of the tips I have been given by local law enforcement to combat crime in our neighborhoods.
- Be alert and know who is coming into and leaving your neighborhood.
- If you see something say something. If there’s activity going down and you just don’t feel right about it notify police. The police are their to investigate crimes and potential crimes.
- If you witness or are a crime victim, get a good description of the suspect[s] clothes, hair, height, race, tattoos, vehicle description and direction of travel.
- Keep in communication with your neighbors or start a neighborhood watch. Citizens organize themselves working with law enforcement keeping a trained eye and ear on their communities, while demonstrating their presence at all times of day and night.
- Stay informed, keep up with crime trends. Know what kind of crimes are happening where and when and what you can do to prevent them in your neighborhood.
In my community it’s unfortunate that the majority of the gangbangers are youths. I just want them to know they’re not bad people, they’ve just made the wrong decisions.
And I’d like them to understand they can have more respect in their neighborhood for holding a good job rather than holding a gun. And if they ever want to trade in those guns for gardens I’d be more than happy to show them what I know.