Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Report out from SARA meeting: April 14, 2009

Perhaps the "cold" weather kept folks home last night. Whatever the reason, the thin crowd at last night's SARA meeting was a bit of a disappointment, especially given the special forum on disaster preparedness. At any rate, here's a quick report out (briefer than usual...silly job demands are keeping me busy this time of the year).

1. Quadrant Commanders, at your service. The Area Commander concept is up and running. Your Area Commander is the go-to person for questions and concerns about one of the quadrants (map, names, and contact information coming soon).

2. Never mind the numbers, let's see the maps. The maps below show incidents of major crimes over the past month. Thank you to the PD for making these maps available!

3. Ask and ye shall receive. Readers of the Pomona Watch blog submitted the following questions to the PD and received the following responses from the PD:

* How do we get access to press releases? This one is still under investigation.

* Would it be possible to make stops by park restrooms a regular aspect of patrols around the parks? The powers that be will remind officers to add walk-a-bouts (my word, not theirs) to their regular patrols. Residents are reminded that park security offers additional patrols of the areas. As always, we should call dispatch if we see anything suspicious.

For example, the other day I saw one guy put a little something under the cover of the electrical outlet; guy #1 meandered over to the picnic tables. 20 seconds later a new guy miraculously approached the exact same electrical outlet, grabbed something, and proceeded into the bathroom. Suspicious? You betcha.

* How many motorists/pedestrian accidents? There have been over 200 accidents involving motorists and pedestrians/bicyclists over the past five years. Gulp.

* What do the police do when they see a minor bicycling without a helmet? The city once had a grant that purchased helmets officers could distribute to kids who were riding without head protection. That grant no longer exists; perhaps the city will apply for another one at some point. In the meantime, officers use their discretion regarding whether or not to approach a minor riding without a helmet and whether to give a warning or a ticket. The PD may look in to doing more helmet safety presentations at schools. [Side bar: There's some really creepy footage of skateboarders suffering head impact on youtube -- scares the bejeebus out of me.]

5. A Rose by Any Other Name? I nearly burst out in applause when Cpl. Hagerty said the monthly meetings will no longer be called SARA meetings. The totally non-descriptive meeting name is pretty much meaningless to those of us not in the PD. In my humble opinion, acronyms do a huge disservice to any organization seeking to welcome outsiders. Why, afterall, would I bother to clear my Tuesday evening schedule to go to a meeting to celebrate some gal named Sara?

Well, this rose has a new name: Area Commander Meetings. While I applaud the decision to change the name of the meeting, I'm still really worried this meeting title won't mean anything to anyone who doesnt' already attend the meetings.

Imagine a new resident of Pomona finding herself checking the city's meeting schedule (I'm assuming such a schedule exists, but this is purely a guess) in hopes of finding a way to get involved in the local happenings. Will she jump at the opportunity to attend the Area Commander Meeting? Nope. Why? Because she won't know what the heck it means or who the heck is invited.

In a nutshell, I think we need another name. What are your suggestions? Perhaps "Town Hall with Police Department," "Community forum," "Police and community forum," "LOL"?

6. The Community Programs office is hoppin'. During the month of March they attended 19 Neighborhood Watch meetings, gave 3 presentations, and attended 5 events (including Little League Opening Day and doing detail for President Obama's visit).

7. Mark your calendar. All are invited and encouraged to attend:

* Senior Scam Stopper workshop. May 1, 9 - 11 AM. Washington Park Senior Center. 865 E. Grand Ave. For more info, call 909-621-2783.

* City wide beautification day is May 9. Pick your favorite little patch of Pomona and spruce it up. Contact to register or get more info (or read the April 6 post on the topic).

* The next community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting (whatever it is called). May 12th from 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM. Council Chambers. Special topic: Issues facing the northwest quadrant of Pomona.

8. The Main Event. Carrie Cruz, Pomona's emergency services and risk coordinator, gave a splendid presentation about disaster preparedness. She also gave us all sassy pink raffle tickets. M&I Surplus (Garey & LaVerne) donated some great prizes, including a hefty backpack loaded with disaster preparedness supplies. Carrie has kindly granted permission to post her slides on the blog, so I'll do that as a separate post.

Shots Heard March 7 28

Stolen Vehicles March 7 28

Assaults March 7 28

Recovered Stolen Vehicles March 7 28

Robbery March 7 28

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, missed it again. Thanks for doing all this. Btw, I like the names that include "town hall" and if you were sincere in your question about the city, the SARA meetings have not been posted on the calendar.

    As for the maps, I view it as a positive that the crime isn't segregated to just a couple of areas in Pomona. And WOW, the stolen and recovered vehicle maps are quite the sight.

    Thanks again.