More than 50 fire inspectors, animal control officers, social service

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips Guest

    Now stuff like this scares me.....if you look at the combanation of of this group each as the ablity to search you home under diffrent circmstances....and with so many agencys you will fit some of them...I fear for freedom when Goverments start pulling stunts like this.

    News Staff Reporter

    Alice Russell's granddaughter roused her from bed at 9 a.m. Wednesday, shouting, "Nana, something terrible's happening, the police are all here." And it wasn't just the police.
    More than 50 fire inspectors, animal control officers, social service workers, cleanup workers, even U.S. marshals rumbled into a West Side neighborhood Wednesday morning for the second Clean Sweep, a citywide initiative to crack down on quality-of-life problems.

    Supporters, including the mayor and some residents, say the initiative improves troubled neighborhoods. But critics and other residents say the effort is intrusive and ineffective.

    Federal, state and local officials all contributed to the three-hour effort, held on 19th Street between Rhode Island and Hampshire streets. It was the second such sweep. The first was held June 26 on West Avenue, also on the West Side.

    While cleanup crews mowed lawns and cleaned vacant lots, teams of officials went door to door, checking houses for working smoke detectors, unlicensed dogs, illegal cable television hookups and social services concerns. Organizers of Wednesday's effort said they installed 40 smoke detectors, replaced batteries in 30 others, issued 15 summons for unlicensed dogs, uncovered 20 illegal cable hookups and made more than a dozen referrals to social services and housing agencies.

    Mayor Anthony M. Masiello, who arrived at the conclusion of the event, said residents were "happy to see us here."

    "It's the little things that count," said Masiello. "Small quality-of-life issues mean an awful lot to people in this neighborhood."

    Residents welcomed help in improving their neighborhood. But they were far from satisfied with the way Wednesday's sweep was conducted. They were given no prior notice of the action. A police officer knocked on each door and asked the resident if the house could be inspected. If they consented - most did - up to 10 people might enter, according to residents.

    "I think they should clean the neighborhood up," said Alice Russell, "but because we're poor, they don't have to do it the right way."

    Jeanne-Noel Mahoney, director of the western regional office of the New York Civil Liberties Union, came to the neighborhood after receiving phone calls from residents. She said her office received 26 complaints about the first sweep, many saying the effort was intrusive. She scoffed at sweep organizers' assurances that the inspections were voluntary.

    "You can say you have the right to say no, but I think a lot of people would be afraid to," she said, noting the number of uniformed officers and officials present.

    She said the program would be more effective if residents had been notified so they could be sure to be home and had time to list their complaints. Organizers said that would ruin "the element of surprise."

    Council Member Dominic J. Bonifacio Jr., who sponsored the initiative, said results from the sweep justified "a little inconvenience for three hours." He championed the case of one resident whom inspectors discovered had no water or electricity. But the resident, who declined to be named, said she thought only the house itself would be inspected. She said before she knew it, she was being grilled by a social services representative.

    "I felt violated," she said, adding that the inspectors left without telling her if or when her utilities would be turned on.
  2. WTF?

    Just a thought, why should the police, animal control etc have to clean up these peoples neighborhoods? What they are so poor or stupid they cannot pick up their own trash? They can't mow their own yards? And everyone knows how expensive a set of batteries 2x a year for the smoke detectors are. Even if it is the landlords problem.

    Jeez, I know it may be a nice jesture, but who pays for this? And can anyone assure anyone that the neighborhood won't look like a dump again in 4 weeks?

  3. Calvin

    Calvin G&G Evangelist

    I'll bet that people get real sick of this real fast.....
  4. Oxford

    Oxford G&G Evangelist

    "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" program

    We've got an innovative program called "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" in my city whereby neighbors work together, without the aid of bureaucrats, to clean up their own neighborhood messes.

    Usually this includes picking up trash, mowing grass/weeds, trimming trees, painting houses/sheds, weatherproofing doors/windows, and doing other minor home repairs, etc. Companies are solicited for assistance in supplies. Neighbors along with other volunteers do the work and no financial expense is charged to the city.

    This program advertises where/when the next project will occur and the city coordinates the details. I've worked on one of these work days and lots was accomplished in one day. The home/yard looked like a different place. The homeowner worked side by side with us and I believe she appreciated the assistance.

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2002
  5. Calvin

    Calvin G&G Evangelist

    Oxford, that's what needs to happen in the communities, not totaltarian policing. If more neighborhoods did like yours, you'd see a lot less crime.
  6. I agree too!

    Oxford and Calvin,

    I whole heartedly agree! The residents of the neighborhood, themselves should band together and clean up their own neighborhood and help those who cannot. Not send in the troops and scare the hell out of everybody.......