Minutes for the meeting of Monday, August 6, 2007
- Call to order: Elvira Kidd
- Introduction of Guest: Elvira Kidd
- Review of minutes of last meeting (July 23, 2007): Joe Openshaw. Minutes approved
Sergeant Carmichael of the BPD spoke and fielded questions. He brought us up to date on equipment the city is purchasing for each police car, decibel meters to measure sound, so that noise ordinance infractions can be prosecuted.
This area is beat 204.
He mentioned that houses that are called in as suspicious and requested to be watched that patrol officers keep a log of their visits.
He told us that police calls to 425-2411 are not recorded as to caller ID. Calls to 911 are, for obvious reasons. You do not have to give your name when calling the police, no matter how much the dispatcher tries to persuade you.
Patricia Hilliard gave examples of no police follow-up following 4 auto b&e’s on her block, and on another occasion her husband was shot at in his vehicle, police were there and let the shooters go, they never heard back.
Elvira Kidd posed a question regarding response time, Sgt. Carmichael defended the department.
The monthly meetings sponsored by the BPD were mentioned, usually on the first Monday of the month. They are open to the public, and discussions like this are common. This month the meeting will be at Beulah Baptist on the north side on August 20.
Mrs. Williams (I think) mentioned that on Shades Street there is shooting all day and night at times.
On Berkley the problem is noise.
On Dartmouth poor lighting and motorcycles and racing and noise.
Ray Street to Black Avenue is like a raceway.
Sgt. Carmichael said they are trying to get substations in all areas, but could not really say why the first one was put in at the low crime area of Watermark.
He said Red Rock is constantly under surveillance. Elvira Kidd said we should demand that the owner either clean it out or go out of business. Sgt. told us to call it in when we see loitering.
The issue of street lighting came up. Elvira requested names of streets that needed lighting, and practically every street represented was named. We realized this is a street department issue.
Sgt. Carmichael said he would address these issues to the chief and will get back to me with the lists for beat 204 and Burstall patrol officers.
He said if someone has a suspicion that an officer is crooked they should call Internal Affairs at 424-4060.
Mrs. Webb suggested we get the names of dispatchers and officers so if we have to complain we have a record. Should get officers name and badge number and a card with case number on it.
The sergeant left after receiving a round of applause for coming.
Joe Openshaw reminded us that our first priority project was a success, the demolition of the building on 19th street between Dartmouth and Clarendon. A brick was brought in as evidence. Earl Cochran was thanked for his role.
Patricia Hilliard brought up houses next to her next to her. One a gray house at 16th and Arlington, and another at 15th and Arlington, where one side of the house is burned and an older person lives in the other side. DHR should be notified and should be able to get her to a better place.
Ms. Hinkle mentioned the Jones Carpet building in Jonesboro as being a building that is a danger to children and should be torn down.
Doug McKnight raised the issue of a 20 year delay on tearing down abandoned houses in Alabama because of certain ownership laws that allow people to hold on. We need to question or state representative Priscilla Dunn about this.
Ms. Hilliard mentioned downtown revitalization with restaurants and shops and Joe Openshaw reminded us that the TVA Strategic Initiatives a few years ago ended with this as one of their top recommendations, but the city has ignored it.
Joe Openshaw spoke of the Animal Abuse Committees meeting and read their recommendation, which is “that the City of Bessemer hire an outside consultant, preferably Kim Staton, to assess and make recommendations for the Animal Control facility and for Animal Control policy and personnel. He also spoke of his appearance before the city council, being invited by Council person Earl Cochran to speak, and being interrupted by the mayor and not allowed to continue or to read this recommendation.
National Night Out is Tuesday August 7, 2007. In this district the event will be at Roosevelt Park.
The Membership Committee of Patricia Hilliard and Wanda Thomas will report next meeting.
Arlington School, one of the proposed topics for this week, will be put off till next meeting due to time.
Our priorities are:
- The woman in the burned out house on Arlington
- Research lighting on residential streets.
- Jones Carpet Building in Jonesboro
We adopted a new meeting schedule, the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month, so as not to conflict with the police meetings.
The meeting was adjourned with a prayer.