Friday, April 25, 2008

news from Jargowood

Here's a bit of news, courtesy of Jargowood Block Club, in slightly condensed form... We have good news and bad news from the Touhy Park Advisory. We had reports this week regarding gang activity which seemed to originate in Touhy Park on Mon 4/21. The story is a little more complicated.

One week earlier, Mon 4/14 - there was an incident in Touhy Park involving some kids (age 14-15-16) from Pottawattomie coming over and harrassing somewhat younger kids playing soccer at Touhy Park. The local adults and kids cleared the park and took shelter in the fieldhouse. The resident community activist called 911 - police came after the intruders departed. A lecture was made (in Spanish by the local community activist) to the adults and kids - take out your cell phone and call 911...everybody had a cell phone but somehow nobody was confident enough to call 911, leading to a Community Policing seminar and discussed at the 4/16 2423 Beat meeting.

One week later, Mon 4/21, another incident occurred also involving some kids (age 14-15-16) from Pottawattomie harrassing kids at Touhy Park. This spilled over into residential streets nearby...this time, lots of people called 911. Two bicycles were stolen in Touhy Park and ridden over to Pottawattomie...but police responded quickly, victims stepped forward and suspects were identified and arrested at Pottawattomie. Both kids are local residents with records of juvenile offenses.

Bad news: gangs are apparently holding Spring Initiation Events. Good news: police are responding appropriately....strong police presence at Touhy Park in response to these incidents. The good news is that people are using 911 to report incidents in progress. So far, shootings have not been involved.

More good news: Touhy Park participated in Earth Day on 4/19....trees mulching and general spruce-up for the park. Lawrence Hall sent a group of young men (residents of the local group homes) and two supervisors and they worked hard mulching away. Charmers donated several vats of coffee, the Hostess truck dropped of sweets things, and Dominicks donated pizza. This summer in Touhy Park: Shakespeare in the park, movie night and a music concert....and other park activities for kids and adults.

If you want to have positive activities in Touhy Park, come out and support the Park Advisory Committee and the Park Supervisor. Come out and be a positive presence in the park. Put your dog on a lease and your kid in the stroller and walk around and thru the park. Bring a baseball and toss it to your kid.....or spouse....or friend. Bring your cell phone and use it to call 911 if needed. Don't let the punks own the park.

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