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People working together help keep our community safe

GUEST COLUMN

On the evening of Monday, July 7, or, probably more accurately, in the very early morning of Tuesday, July 8, someone visited our Sullivan Street backyard and turned over all of our lawn furniture and then helped themselves to our lacrosse goal, which has lived in the back of our yard for about eight years with no incident. Lacrosse goals are heavy, and our visitors either lost interest in their project or were frightened away, because the goal was spotted down our street near the curb by several early morning risers at about 6 a.m. Tuesday. A neighbor witnessed a white pickup truck collecting our goal shortly after that, possibly thinking it had been discarded, although the goal was intact, in good shape with a brand new net, and no “Free” sign on it.

Fortunately, we have recovered our property, which was spotted the next day in someone’s yard. We were amazed by the outpouring of observations from our neighbors both in person and on social media. I would like to say I was also amazed by the responsiveness of the Caz PD, but I am already well aware of their dedication and commitment to helping the public through my work as village police commissioner. Nonetheless, a big “Thank you” to the Sullivan, Hurd and Albany Street neighborhoods and the Caz PD, who continue to investigate the evening’s events.

Our home was not the only destination for the pranksters that evening; the Porta-Johns from the Fourth of July races were all turned over and several other neighbors reported plants and other property re-arranged and tampered with.

Vandalism and theft by our own community members disappoints and frustrates me every time I hear of it. From vandalizing the Lakeland Park bathhouse to last summer’s graffiti to trespassing on private property, these incidents create unnecessary expense and work for our department of public works and our police department in tight budgetary times. In addition, they take a toll on our peace of mind and comfort in our neighborhoods.

Community policing is a catchphrase we have used repeatedly over the past few years. It refers not only to the philosophy we are working to instill in our uniformed officers by asking them to become recognizable and approachable members of the community, but to exactly what happened with our lacrosse goal — neighbors paying attention to their environment and noting things that are unusual or out of order. I would like to emphasize yet again the value of everyone working together to keep our community safe. It does work.

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