monday meeting scheduled to discuss rising crime in ypsi

A note from our Ypsi Police Chief:

I’m holding a special meeting of all NAs and BAs on Monday night (Nov. 20th) at 7 p.m. to discuss the jail overcrowding problem, the jail expansion proposal approved by the county board last night, out-boarding of prisoners at the jail and crime prevention strategies to help deter/prevent the recent spike in property crimes that has occurred in and around the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. As you are key representatives of your associations, I would greatly appreciate your attendance and assistance providing valuable insight, input and community support to resolve the many problems that we face. Also, please invite all of your neighbors/association residents as I want to involve as many people as possible in the meeting to get questions answered with accurate information and widespread support generated for solutions to the problems. Thank you.

The meeting will be held on Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center at Recreation Park on Congress St.

Matt Harshberger, Chief of Police
Ypsilanti Police Department
505 W. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI. 48197

Telephone: (734) 483-8590
Fax: (734) 483-7396


Sooner or later, someone is going to be killed by one of these catch-and-release criminals of ours, and, when that happens, I’d hate to be in the shoes of any one of those elected officials who helped to create this situation.

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  1. egpenet
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    The sheriff has lost a lot of votes recently by playing his money politics games with our safety. “The townships want policing for next to nothing,” said a local ex-politico to me recently. That will no longer be the case, at least not literally, no matter what their lawsuits bring. Most townships know that and will eventually ante-up.

    OUR beef with Minzey is that he’s holding non- violent, non-felons in comfort, many of whom could be released at his discretion … thereby freeing up a LOT of bed space for the BAD BOYS & GIRLS.

    We can’t KEEP bad people who make bail, locked up until their crimes are prosecuted and their butts gavelled into some distant future. But once someone is caught, and they’re held for a hearing, and then bound over for trial … where do we put them? Right now, Minzey gives’em a Twinkie and a cup of coffee, and shows’em the bus stop.

    Hopefully, Matt will assure us we do not need to arm ourselves, which would rather quickly, I’m sure, result in some tragic accident.
    There’s a lot of common sense things we can do to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe, in addition to being watchful eyes and ears.

    See you at the meeting.

  2. mark
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of guns, I just read somewhere that a thief here in Ypsi the other day broke into someone’s house and got away with a handgun. Fortunately, it was recovered. Maybe next time it won’t be. I’m sure when people buy handguns to protect their families it never occurs to them that those guns could fall into the hands of others, but it does happen.. And this story could have ended in a much darker way.

  3. Citizen Blogger
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    This is all a little scary. I’d like to extend my thanks to Chief Harshberger, he seems to be doing the best he can, and he does a good job of keeping residents informed.

    Sheriff Minzey makes me mad. He seems to be acting recklessly, and I just don’t understand his motivations. The township officials who are suing the county make me mad, too – they’re playing games with their citizens’ safety because they don’t want to pay full freight for police coverage. Yes, they would have to raise taxes, but there’s no free lunch! Are their low, low township taxes more important than everybody’s safety?

  4. egpenet
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    The townshippers feel that crime is deterred by not having sidewalks, paved roads, good sewers or adequate street lighting. Who wants to pay higher taxes? A couple hundred bucks for a handgun and some ammo is a LOT cheaper than adequate public safety.

    After doing night patrol and security assessments in area townships, plus in the cities of Royal Oak, Howell and Brighton … I’d prefer the “fun” of driving around downtown Detroit. You KNOW who the bad guys are in Detroit. Too many guns out here and not enough brains behind the sights.

    We may have to storm the Bastille again if Minzey isn’t straightened out by the local judiciary … and fast!

  5. Hillary
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    “You KNOW who the bad guys are in Detroit.”

    Do tell.

  6. Hillary
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    I personally prefer self defense spray to carrying a gun. It’s always ready to use, easy to aim, and I can walk with my finger on the button with my hands in my pockets. It only costs around $15 a can at Metropolitan Uniform, across from Detroit Police Headquarters.

  7. egpenet
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I mean ASIDE from the mayor and folks like Lonnie Bates, who is finally in prison … it’s easier to spot druggin’ and bangin’ in Detroit. Crackheads stick out (driving 100 mph) … especially on 94 or the Lodge or Woodward or Jefferson. Crime is in public.

    What I mean is … you DON’T know who the bad guys are in the townships and out in places like Howell and Brighton. I saw one crime in progress out there and helped catch the bad boys. That’s rare. Out here, it’s huffin’, or meth or booze at home while the folks are out or trouble out on a road somewhere … no one sees until its too late. Then, once it happens, everyone knows who and says I KNEW it would happen someday. Sheesh!

  8. mark
    Posted November 18, 2006 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    And, Hillary knows that it works.

  9. ChelseaL
    Posted November 19, 2006 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    This won’t do anything to remedy the current problem, but, every time I hear discussions about jail overcrowding, it occurs to me that we’re not doing nearly enough — in fact, I’d say, as a society, we’re doing virtually nothing — to prevent the development of criminals in the first place.

  10. egpenet
    Posted November 19, 2006 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    As long as we continue to focus on B&W mothers w/children and spend zero on B&W young men who have dropped out, are unemployable to some extent (lack of education, poor social skills, criminal record) … we will have this problem.

    In Detroit, there are very very clear dividing lines between classes of folks. A study of class behavior could be made by recording the behaviors of the patrons toward one another of the MacDonald’s just south of the New Center area.

    Inside and outside, it is one of the most carefully maintained and professionally staffed Mickey D’s I have ever visited. The staff is superb, polite and efficient. The grounds are meticulously maintained. 10 minutes of observation, however, reveals who are the crackheads in the area, who are the well-off, who are the truly needy, and who are the “lost.” How they interact or do NOT interact is an education.

    We are ignoring the boys and young men in our inner cities. Local larcenies and home invaders are just symptoms. When Detroit businessmen like Dave Bing, who is committed to the City, can only “interview” 1 out of every 10 applicants, because the other 9 are unqualified/disqualified … yikes.

    Pay close attention to the level of language and social skills and other competencies of kids working at the MacDonald’s around Ypsilanti, or Ann Arbor, or Belleville, or Dexter. You begin to see what “No Child Left Behind” really means. It means that all children are sliding into the pits, except those with the LUCK to be born into circumstances that will allow them to FLOAT to the top. Darwin was right. Life is tough and vicious, and survival is more a matter of genetic and social luck than effort.

    (I don’t believe that for one minute, but that’s what Darwin and Dawkins believe.) Let’s do something for our boys …

  11. Hillary
    Posted November 19, 2006 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    egpenet: Crime is out in public in Detroit because everyone knows there aren’t enough police officers to do anything about it. Normal people run red lights. Crackheads don’t have cars.

    Career criminals dress up for work. Plenty of my neighbors have been robbed by average looking people. About 3 months ago, I was walking, and a man was standing at a bus stop, waving around a cell phone much nicer than mine. His appearance was almost collegiate, though he was too old to be in college. I thought it was a little odd that someone so clean would be riding the Conant bus, but that’s progress, right? The neighborhood must be getting better. Then he groped me.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned these past two years of living in Detroit, it’s that you can’t judge anyone by their appearance. Get to know people before you sort them out based on your first impressions. (Another thing I learned is that it’s better to keep the pepper spray in my left hand because then I can shake hands with my right.)

  12. mark
    Posted November 20, 2006 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I love that quote, Hillary:

    “I keep the pepper spray in my left hand because then I can shake hands with my right.”

  13. mark
    Posted November 20, 2006 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Would you want to write a self-defense guide for the new issue of Crimewave (the one we’ve been talking about for the past two years, but have never really gotten started on)?

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