Monday, April 03, 2006

Walking the Walk

The Growler has been trying to assess the ultimate meaning of Saturday’s Community Walk. Was it an eye-opener for City officials? Did the walk signal a new concern and care for Parker-Gray? Or was it just an election year ploy to impress the politically na├»ve? Let’s not forget that Saturday was April Fool’s Day…

All in all, the Growler must give City officials an A for effort. The turnout was good thanks to the City, which wrested responsibility for the fliers from the hands of the ICCA. The weather was warm and the walk itself gave enterprising citizens an opportunity to chat one-on-one with City officials.

There were some priceless moments. It was fun watching a rather glum Deputy Police Chief Blaine Corle hit the pavement like a beat cop of old. (Hey, blue eyes, feet were made for walking and it’s called community policing.)

But questions linger. Why did the route exclude nearly all of N. Columbus and N. Alfred Streets except for the 800 and 900 blocks near the Samuel Madden Homes public housing project? Was it an issue of time? Why weren’t ARHA residents sent the same fliers so they could participate in the walk? It was more than a little embarrassing to have a mostly white group trooping through Andrew Adkins like an invading army. The Growler suggests that no attempt to eradicate crime will work without cooperation of law-abiding residents of the ARHA – and such people do exist.

Parker-Gray residents didn’t really hear any new commitments or initiatives but police did state that at the end of the Moussaoui trial eight officers working federal security will be released back to the City.

But with the election only a month away, the Growler is withholding any grade for long-term impact.