Last Thursday Supervisor Susan Peters brought an entourage of Deputy Sheriffs to tell the assembled public at the Howe Park Community Center that things are looking good, crime-wise. At the meeting, Captain Santos Ramos - Commander of the Sheriff’s North Division, said, “Crime is down, ‘way down.” He asked everyone, though, to remain vigilant and report suspicious things - depending on seriousness - via 911, or the Sheriff’s emergency number (916-874-5111), or non-emergency number (916-874-5115), or by emailing the Homeless Team (NorthHOT@sacsheriff.com) or the Problem Oriented Policing Team (firstname.lastname@example.org). Bottom line: Other than homelessness, which he and Supervisor Peters said was a widespread problem complicated by court decisions, things are under control and the bad guys are on the run.
OK, fine, unless you happen to also be a Nextdoor.com user. Because if you read Nextdoor you get a totally different picture about the local crime situation. In response to an audience question at the meeting, a Deputy responded that the Sheriff’s people only use Nextdoor.com to make announcements; as a government agency, the Sheriff’s Department cannot read any Nextdoor posts unless an employee happens to reside in, and be a member of, a Nextdoor Neighborhood. That’s too bad, because here are some examples of posts on Nextdoor in the last week:
- “Mutilated Cat In Arden Manor” and “Another Cat Tragedy” (strikingly similar to another incident in Cottage Creek)
- “Robbery Inside Trader Joes”
- “Car Theft During Evening - light blue 1992 2-door Honda Accord in Beyerford Heights/Hazelwood”
- “Graffiti At Crabtree Park”
- “Suspicious Man Outside My House”
- “Car Window Broken”
Confusing, isn’t it? Supervisor Peters and her Sheriff’s people said things were mostly coming up roses. The Nextdoor posters would seem to disagree. Who do you believe, the County or your neighbors? Do you feel safe?