Notes from Huntsville Police Department Community Leaders Meeting
July 30, 2014 at South Precinct
1. Officer Marcus Hendrix spoke about the Safe Streets Initiative. This included an emphasis on speeding in neighborhoods. Ironically most of the drivers cited for speeding are the residents themselves. That was the case with the speed checks on Lily Flagg Drive.
2. Officer Hendrix then described the Blossomwood Initiative. He explained the criteria for future neighborhood initiatives include: high home ownership statistics (home owners have a vested interest in safe neighborhoods.), a baseline of crime statistics, and schools access for neighborhood meetings.
The Sandhurst neighborhood was last year’s Initiative. Some crime stats (2013 vs 2014) for the Blossomwood Initiative were impressive:
The challenge for the Blossomwood home owners is to maintain and sustain this success.
3. The HPD is now focusing their Safe Streets effort on the Golf Road area as well as Green Mountain, Lily Flagg, Chaney Thompson, and Mt. Gap Roads. A 58 year old male was cited for traveling 76 mph in a 25 mph zone recently. He resides in the neighborhood.
4. The HPD is working more closely with pawn shops to identify suspects who try to sell stolen lawn mowers, etc. In line with this effort, the HPD asks all citizens to report all thefts and criminal activity.
5. The HPD recently were able to make the residents of the Cambridge Court Apartments very happy by reducing criminal activities near them. These apartments are located off Logan Drive near the Memorial Parkway.
6. Officer Ryan Burch also spoke of the importance of the Safe Streets Initiative. He cited a recent call by residents to the HPD that resulted in the arrest of 3 suspects in the Blossomwood neighborhood. But be sure to call the non-emergency number (256-722-7100) or the emergency number 911 (if a crime is in progress). Do Not Call the Community Relations Officers. They will probably not be at their desks and can’t respond to a call.
7. Officer Burch mentioned that some citizens are not reporting automobile break-ins because they are embarrassed to say they left their car unlocked and lost their GPS or other items left in the open. The HPD recovered a stolen I Pad but had no record that the owner reported it stolen. The HPD identified the owner who then made a report of theft so that the HPD could make a case against the suspect who had the I Pad. Please report all thefts – even if the value of the item is small, e.g., that 10 year old lawn mower that was taken out of an open garage.
8. Captain Harris closed the meeting by saying the HPD is now proactive and not reactive in the fight against criminal activity. He again asked us to report all suspicious activity and all thefts and to keep the HPD informed. He said the HPD is replacing its cars with Ford Taurus vehicle. Some will have lights on the roof and some will not! Also the department will soon receive SUVs.
9. The next Community Leaders Meeting will be on October 15, 2014.
Fundraising for New Park Benches
Huntsville South is currently raising funds to help with the purchase of park benches for the new park off of Chaney Thompson Road. The park will be a multi-use facility consisting of ball fields, a dog park, disk golf and a lot of other amenities for south Huntsville residents. We look forward to the opening of the park in summer 2014. We hope you are able to help with our efforts. Thanks for your continued support!
Update on new South Huntsville Park - July 25
Below is information we have received from Councilman John Olshefski and County Commissioner Phil Riddick regarding the new park in South Huntsville:
The bid was awarded sometime back in the first part of the year to the contractor (January – I think). There was some delay in getting started due to weather and all the rain. Our understanding is that the utilities (water and electrical) and sewer are in place. Fire hydrants have been installed. Street lights are being installed. The foundation for the main pavilion has been poured and they should soon, or are now laying block at the pavilion. We understand sidewalk construction should begin very soon, if not already. Once the sidewalks are in, the playground equipment should be installed.
A lot of work remains to be done, like fencing, curb and gutter for the entrance road and paving of the entrance road, and clearing and cleaning of some of the area. But we are much closer than we were in January. I believe the city and county are hoping to open the park by September, but I would guess it will be into the early 4th quarter of this year before the dog park portion of the park is open to the public.