by Alexandria Echo Press
August 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm in Alexandria Echo Press
When the Alexandria Police Department moves into its new facility next year, it’ll be busy if the current trends in crime continue. Continue Reading
Tags: Alexandria, Alexandria Police Department, gang activity, local news, Police, Rick Wyffels, wyffels 17 Comments »
To be very honest it is the renters in this town that are renting their properties out to these people commiting the crimes that are the problem. There are too many renters that don’t live in our neighborhoods that don’t care who they rent to and it is destroying our community. I am not saying all renters, but a large number of them. They are making money while we are suffering. The city of Alexandria need to start cracking down on renters! I have it in my own neighborhood. I would say 75% or more of the rental properties have or had drugs, gang activity, welfare abuse… the list goes on. And that is just in my neighborhood, its truely sad and disturbing! Most of these properties are not being kept up and that needs to change as well. The community of Alexandria needs to get together to crack down on all of these problems to make this community what it was and what it could be again. It is time to wake up because I can’t believe this is the town I grew up in.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 27 8
I wonder how much control a lessor really has with regard to whom they rent their property to. There may be some laws in this regard and to deny a suitable tenant based on some prejudicial view may be a violation of state law. For example, if I owned rental property and I denied renting it to a colored person, I would be guilty of discrimination based on skin color or ethnicity. Or if I denied renting to a woman I would be guilty of discrimination based on gender.
What I don’t understand is why is it that everyone in the neighborhood is aware of illegal activity and yet law enforcement is unable to do anything about it. Is it that difficult to obtain the necessary evidence to close a crack house down? Admittedly, I am not in law enforcement and I do not know the answer to this question but from the outside looking in, it seems like a valid question.
I do know that if I should decide to disturb the wetland on my farm property, it wouldn’t take long for law enforcement to be all over me about that.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 3
I own a couple investment properties myself, and I can tell you that while I’m not allowed to discriminate based on race, religion, color, gender, ect. I CAN choose to not rent to someone simply because I don’t like them as a person. Believe me, if someone can’t pass a background check or I know they’re involved with drugs or gang activity, they’re not going to be renting from me.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 2
Bob T â€“ “a colored person?” Good Lord what century do you live in?
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I also grew up in Alexandria and quit frankly I can believe it’s the town I grew up in. There has never been anything for youth… below is an excerpt from a letter to the editor that has so far been declined for print:
Lastly, let me say that I grew up in this community and I am often appalled by the fact that a town the size of Alexandria is unable to maintain a frisbee golf course much less provide other delinquency deterring activities for our youth. Yet, one often hears a chorus complaining about youth â€œhanging outâ€ on our streets or wondering aimlessly. What else are they supposed to do? It was a problem when I was a teen and, 30 years later, it is still a problem because the city fathers and portions of the community refuse to see the needs of the youth. Deterrence is always cheaper than punishment, on so many levels, and of all the differing opinions about what causes crime one fact is without a doubt true; the earlier one enters into the criminal justice system the longer and more severe their involvement is likely to be. Isnâ€™t it worth it to invest programs and activities for youth that work?
One definition of insanity it to try the same thing over and over and expect different results. If throwing gas on the fire didn’t put it out, get more gasoline. Seriously, if “gangs” were the problem then they are demonstrating that they are not the cure..
Let me also say a few things about the recent “gang” related arrest. I find it rather convenient that this arrest occurred at the same time the chief is making a plea for more cash. I also know most of these youth, and Samuel Morrow is my son, and they are hardly a gang. Stupid at times, yes.. gang no. The local media prints what the politicians want and you never hear the whole story. I have a blog thetruthaboutsam.blogspot.com if your interested. For instance I doubt you’ll see them report on the fact that Samuel was not been in Alexandria for most of the year, or that their “search” was more like a fishing expedition. I’m not just speaking as Sam’s father but I’ve also been a cop and am a criminologist and youth counselor.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 33
Nice blog. I liked the part where it was the city’s fault for not providing enough youth activities, and the part where it’s ok to break the law if you have ADHD. It’s everyone’s fault but Sam’s, isn’t it?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 5
It IS in part the city’s fault for not having ANYTHING for kids/teens to do other than go to church or be in a gang. At least bigger cities have options for this age group so maybe they can stay off the street and have good role models w/o bringing church into it b/c guess what not everyone is into that. Even bringing back the frisbee golf course or getting a youth center might help. Also for logging in as Anon you sure are one to bring names into it aren’t you.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 3 21
“At least bigger cities have options for this age group so maybe they can stay off the street and have good role models…” It’s a pretty established fact that the bigger cities actually have MORE problems with gangs, despite having more things for kids to do. Alexandria has great parks, recreational lakes, the YMCA, and a good school system that provides plenty of sports programs and extra curricular programs. And yet, you’re going to blame the city? What ever happened to personal responsibility?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 27 2
So if your not into sports or band.. what other extra curricular activities are there? Maybe something’s changed and I wasn’t aware. Oh… and yeah that requires money.. Now Sam had no interest, other than art until the last year or so, thus, we didn’t engage at that level. However, I do have relatives that still live there and they have told me how much it has cost them to have their kids in sports, and I am well aware of many families that just can’t afford that.
The YMCA is a good thing, however pretty new to the area. I’ve been in communities half the size that had a YMCA for years already… nice Alex could finally catch up.
Like or Dislike: 0 1
Nope, Sam had the final say. I agree with that. That’s not my point. Sam is responsible for what he has done. Since we’re talking about blame, maybe you can explain to me how Sam is responsible for several of the acts when he was with me in South Dakota the first half of 2010? I mean, from my understanding many of these things occurred in march… he was 600 miles away. Or maybe you can explain to me, how a search warrant, which in my experience, lays out the items to be searched for and seized, and yet the PD went on a fishing expedition? Later having to return many of my items? Again, It isn’t about what Sam did it’s more about what he didn’t do and is being blamed for.
Like or Dislike: 0 0
I hear the argument about cities not providing enough for the youth to do. Why is it always up to the government to take care of things? When I grew up 40 years ago we didn’t have anything for teens to do either. Well, nothing if you discount when we gathered at the local city park or someone’s back yard for baseball, football, basketball, bike riding, tag, or just hanging out. Although there were one or two rowdier kids in town most of us wouldn’t even think about doing something that would harm or disrespect others. I guess we were brought up with a higher standard of respect for our neighbors and fellow human beings. I won’t jump on the “city must provide recreation for our youth” bandwagon. For me it’s more the parents need to spend more time teaching their kids about respect. Respect for law, respect for authority, respect for others, and respect for themselves.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 42 0
I support your post 100 percent. And of course they didnt post your letter b/c its saying something negative about the city and its officials. And it is very fishy that this happened at such a good time for the department.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 18
When I grew up the last thing you would have hear from me was ” I’m bored, I don’t have anything to do” My folks could in a micro second find a list a mile long of things to do, not that I wanted to do but never the less things to do.
And it seemed all of them involved some form of work.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 0
Got that right. There was always plenty to do. My parents planted a rather large garden. Large enough that they rarely had to buy canned vegetables from the grocery store despite having seven kids to feed. Guess who got the responsibility for weeding it?
We grew up on the iron range and beginning in June and ending in September it was berry picking time…. wild strawberries, blueberries, juneberries, pincherries, chokecherries, plumbs, and hazelnuts just to name a few. We hated to have to do it but we made it as fun as we could anyway and we surely enjoyed reaping the benefits of our harvest in January and February.
It was not uncommon for mom to get us up early during the summer months and give us a choice. Get out and find something to do or stay in the house and help with the housework. Talk about your no-brainer! I remember staying out in the winter building snow forts, playing king-on-the-hill, snowball fights, sledding, skating, and the like so long our hands would be so numb from the cold when we came in we couldn’t unlace our boots or unzip our coats. We didn’t care. We had fun and we were staying out of trouble.
We made our own fun and it was clean fun.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 0
QUOTE”Yet, one often hears a chorus complaining about youth â€œhanging outâ€ on our streets or wondering aimlessly. What else are they supposed to do?”. AS far as your kids I don’t know, But the parents should be the ones who are looking after their kids making sure they have things to do. Instead of hanging out at 2-3am.
Put on your man pants and accept the fact your son was involved in things you knew would cause trouble, but yet you did nothing except after the fact try to blame the City and the community for not having something for your son to do.
I raised 2 kids and we had some bumps in the road but We raised them, we knew were they where at.When they said they were staying at somebody place we called the parents to find out if that really was the case. Yea thats right we didn’t trust our kids you know why because we knew what we tried to get away with growing up. We owe our children a good education and to teach them values. The latter should be up to the parents not the judicial system.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 16 0
2 or 3 in the morning? I wonder what my parents would have thought if I was caught out and about at that hour? Oh wait! I did learn the answer to that once and it was AFTER I had already been in college and was home for the summer.
We had curfew and we learned real quick that it was something you didn’t break if you wanted to keep your freedom to be with your friends. Did we break the curfew on occasion anyway and get away with it? Absolutely! I rode my bicycle to work eight miles one way for most of a summer because I broke curfew.
Like or Dislike: 8 0
Well.. lots of homespun logic here, hard to sift through it all. I have no problem with holding him responsible for that which he has done, but when its so blatantly obvious that this entire episode was done for the benefit of increased funding, that I find unconscionable. I won’t stand for is the PD making an attempt to blame him for everything in order to propagate the myth of this big bad gang. Did my son get into fights.. yes. Did he dress “gangster”… yes. Did he smoke some refer… probably. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have consequences for what he DID do, but anyone who knows Sam, including several teachers who have agreed to testify in his behalf, know that he is not the person that the local media and the APD would like you to believe he is.
The fact is, and I hate to give you facts when youâ€™ve already made up your minds so eloquently, that most kids, like Sam, age out of their behavior rather quickly. Some of us went to college and partied, let loose, and got it out of our system there. Others, like Sam, do it a little sooner and a little more public. I don’t think I ever mentioned 2 and 3 AM. Statistically speaking, backed by lots of research, most juveniles commit crimes between 4 and 8 PM. That’s where deterrent based programs are effective. Itâ€™s not only about giving kids something to do but creating community bonds. You can say what you will, but I also grew up in Alexandria and those do not exist for a large group of Alexandrians. Would deterrence programs have kept Sam out of trouble, probably not at the stage he started to get into trouble… I was speaking in more generalities at that time. And the fact is, every place that Iâ€™ve ever known to be open for kids has, for lack of support, closed down
I see a longing for the niceties of a simpler time, don’t we all. The fact is our kids have more influences, with ever increasing anti-cultural messages. Oh’ yes, I love the insinuations that I must be a bad father or his mother a bad mother… very helpful. However, Sam was rarely in trouble until the last year and even then it remained fairly mundane. Now, let me qualify that, I work with real gang kids in Chicago so my perspective is going to be different than yours.
It’s always nice to say that “my kid wouldn’t do that cause I’d take him behind the woodshed”. I’ve heard that a few times, then when their kid does do this or that… the tune changes. I know living in Alex it’s hard to believe there’s a big bad world out there but your kids are aware. The world wide web has brought all sorts of nefarious things into your communities and gangs, real gangs, actively recruit using things like facebook and you-tube . The only upshot to this is that it made him realize that playing his little game wasnâ€™t harmless.
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